Gov’t orders investigation on DFA passport data breach

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2019   •   5597

Philippine passport
Philippine passport

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday (January 14) assured that the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has already been ordered to investigate the recent passport data breach at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which the Palace considered as a “serious and grave matter”.

The incident, disclosed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin himself, stemmed when a previous contractor got disappointed that its contract was terminated and left with all passport applicants’ data.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Monday said the NPC has been directed also “to ascertain whether certain provisions of Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012, have been violated, particularly with respect to the personal information of the data subjects.”

Panelo explained that applicants “should not be burdened” by submitting original copies of their birth certificates and the submission of the old or current passport should be enough requirement to renew their passports.

“The ongoing practice is not only cumbersome to everyone affected but is a form of red tape which this administration frowns upon and will not tolerate,” Panelo said.

“The investigation should not, however, end here since the current arrangement for the printing of passports should also be examined to determine if there are violations of pertinent laws which may be detrimental to the public,” he added.

In a tweet on Sunday (January 13), Locsin assured that there is “no leak so far” of the passport holders’ data.

“But the data is possibly hopelessly corrupted and at any rate inaccessible now or we are being lied to as usual,” he said.

Image grabbed from Teddy Locsin Jr. twitter

In another tweet, Locsin said he will definitely identify those behind the mess which he considers a prelude to “social media campaign against” him by his detractors.

Image grabbed from Teddy Locsin Jr. twitter

Marje Pelayo

DFA warns Filipino jobseekers against recruitment to Libya

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has warned Filipino job seekers against individuals in the Philippines who have been recruiting workers to Libya.

The DFA emphasized through the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli that recruitment, processing, and deployment of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad remains suspended for all jobs in Libya.

“The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has also informed the Embassy that it has not issued any approval to any individual or agency in the Philippines and in Libya to recruit and deploy nurses, engineers, and other workers to Libya,” the Embassy added.

According to the advisory, only Filipinos with existing work contracts and certificates of exemption from the Embassy and those who are on vacation in the Philippines are allowed to return to Libya.

Amid the escalating civil war in Libya, the Embassy said it is currently working with Libyan authorities to ensure the safety and security of Filipino workers in the North African state.

The Embassy reminds Filipinos recruiting jobseekers to Libya from the Philippines and other countries that they are liable for violating the law in accordance with the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act and the Migrant Workers Act.

The DFA encourages the public to report such illegal activities to the DFA, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or other concerned agencies of the government in the Philippines.

Those abroad may report to the Philippine Embassy and Consulates in their host countries for any act of illegal recruitment to the conflict-stricken nation.

DFA to accept postal ID for passport applications starting August

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2019

Philippine passport

MANILA, Philippines — To further ease the burden of passport applications, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it will start accepting the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhlPost) ID as a valid government-issued ID beginning August 1, 2019.

On its official social media page, the DFA said it has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PhlPost on July 8, 2019 on the acceptance of postal ID as a valid ID for passport application.

Likewise, the DFA said the MOA provides the establishment of the Postal ID Online Verification System (POVS).

POVS is a software application that facilitates the easy verification of the PhlPost ID.

Based on its list of required IDs, the DFA only accepts government-issued picture IDs.

Here is a list of primary ID cards accepted for passport application:

  • Social Security System (SSS)
  • Government Service Insurance System(GSIS)
  • Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) Card
  • Land Transportation Office (LTO) Driver’s License
  • Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
  • Integrated Department of Labor and Employment (iDOLE) Card
  • Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID
  • Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms License
  • Senior Citizen ID
  • Persons with Disabilities (PWD) ID
  • PhlPost (postal) ID
  • School ID (for students)
  • Residence Card/Host Government Issued ID showing their PH citizenship (For applicants based overseas)

For complete list of requirements for passport applications, visit the DFA’s official website here.

Search continues for two Filipino tourists missing in Thailand — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2019

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that two Filipino tourists went missing at Freedom Beach in Phuket, Thailand on Tuesday (July 17).

The DFA through the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok said it is actively monitoring the case after the Royal Thai Police and a group of Filipino tourists notified them of the incident.

According to Ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon, the Embassy immediately made representations with the Thai Police and coordinated with the Filipinos upon receipt of the report.

According to reports, the two Filipinos were at the beach playing in the sea during a heavy storm, when they were swept away and have not been seen since then.

The Embassy assured rescue operations by authorities is ongoing.

The Embassy continues to coordinate with the authorities on the case, as well as respond to the needs of the Filipino family and friends of the two missing Filipinos.


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