‘OFWs welcome no birth certificate ruling on passport renewal’
MANILA, Philippines — The department order signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. removing the birth certificate requirement for passport renewal is a “welcome relief” for migrant workers, a recruitment consultant and migration expert said Wednesday.
“The department order signed by Sec. Locsin is a welcome relief for millions of migrant workers deployed to 180 countries all over the world who are working in numerous job sites where the nearest consular office may be hundreds or thousands of miles away,” recruitment consultant and migration expert Emmanuel Geslani said in a statement.
Geslani said OFWs do not bring their original birth certificates to their job sites and “when their passports are soon to expire, they may have to travel long distances to the nearest consular office.”
The recruitment consultant noted that he agreed with Locsin that “birth certificates are an additional burden for passport holders and the old passport is sufficient evidence of a person’s citizenship.”
He added that removing this requirement “will be good news for millions of Filipinos renewing their passports and availing of the ten-year validity which should have been implemented decades ago by the DFA.”
Locsin signed Department Order (DO) 03-2019 on Tuesday, days after he disclosed that DFA is “rebuilding” its files “from scratch” because a previous outsourced passport maker “took all” the applicants data when its contract was terminated.
“Because previous contractor got pissed when terminated it made off with data. We did nothing about it or couldn’t because we were in the wrong,” he said in his Twitter account last January 9.
“It won’t happen again. Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state,” he added. /cbb
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