Malacanang announced that starting August 15, Filipino passport applicants will receive their passport with the “all new high-security” features.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said security features include “intaglio printing” used for the printing of money and the printing of the coat of arms using optical variable illusion ink where color varies at different angles.
He noted that security features have been put in place such as a microchip to capture the personal data of the applicant, invisible ultraviolet (UV) fluorescent ink and thread, and elaborate design when subjected to UV light.
The new passports also carry an impressive design promoting the regions of the country. They also feature the Philippine eagle and the green turtle.
The Malacanang official assured Filipinos who wish to go to other countries that the new passports would be readily available. He said APO Production Unit, an agency supervised by the PCO, was able to increase the production speed of passports to 35 percent.
“This means the new passport printing system results (in the) delivery of passports from press to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to an average of five days compared to seven to 14 days previously,” Andanar said.
He said his agency aims to further improve the passport printing process so that the delivery from the APO Lima Plant in Batangas to the DFA office can be hastened to four days by next year.
Meanwhile, Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Filipinos planning to work abroad can now secure all their required documents from a one-stop shop (see related story in this issue).
He said the government is setting up one-stop shops around the country where all government front-line services would be made available to overseas Filipino workers or those aspiring to be OFWs. The one-stop shop will cut processing time of the applicants’ documents.
He said the first one-stop shop, located on the ground floor of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) building in Mandaluyong City, was already launched in the country last August 14.
Similar front-line service centers will be set up in all regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and POEA.
“With the approval of the POEA or DOLE regional offices, we may also extend services during weekends and holidays,” said Bello.
OFWs and overseas job applicants can secure passports, competency assessments, certificates of no marriage and other documents required abroad.
POEA chief Hans Cacdac said the center could reduce travel time and expenses for applicants, who no longer need to go from one agency to another to get their requirements.
He said the processing cycle varies, but Bello ordered that documents should be released within 72 hours after filing of the application.
“We made sure that all major services needed by the OFWs are available in the center,” also said Cacdac. (SWCA)