MANILA, Philippines — The convener of Action for Good Governance, Atty. Argee Guevarra, argues that the quality of the new batch of passports are substandard.
In a press conference this on Monday, Atty. Guevarra showed a leaf from a supposed newly printed passport given to him by his informant.
He said compared to the ones we have now, the new print is thinner and the embedded watermarks are not that clear.
He added this might be labelled as fake and will not pass the reading machines at airports locally and internationally.
This might result in possible detention and repatriation of passport holders and overseas Filipino workers who will use such passports.
“The new quality of paper and the corresponding watermarks, it will be revealed that the new passport paper wont even pass master the passport reading machines, locally and internationally,” Guevarra said.
Atty. Guevarra says DFA entered into a questionable transaction with Asian Productivity Organization or APO that is contracted to do the printing.
An informant allegedly told Guevarra that APO outsourced the printing through another private corporation, the United Graphic Expression Corporation (UGEC) without the permission from DFA.
“Our existing passports has specific watermarks specific thickness of paper, and yet because of the APO production outsourcing through anomalous joint venture agreement with private printing office, our use of passport are compromised,” Guevarra added.
Guevarra said UGEC is the company also involved in mighty cigarettes stamp issue.
As of this time, DFA has not yet issued a statement or comment on the matter. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News and Rescue
Philippines, China set to conduct second bilateral consultative mechanism next month
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano
The Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA defended itself from allegations that it is not taking steps to stop China’s ongoing militarization of the West Philippine Sea.
Critics particularly refer to Beijing’s construction of military structures in the disputed territory, which they alleged, the DFA is not addressing.
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said, “They are asking why there are many ships, whether coastguard or navy, near PAGASA, because the Chinese are just being sensitive that there should be no build up in the sandbars or in any features because there was an agreement that there should be no buildings.”
According to Cayetano, Philippines and China continue to discuss ways on how to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner.
Manila and Beijing are set to tackle some sensitive information regarding the West Philippine Sea during their second bilateral consultation in February.
“All the issues, including the concerns of our fishermen, as well as how do we see the long-term: where we will be 5 years from now, 10 years, 15 years from now? If other countries are using militarization, how do you define militarization?” said Cayetano.
DFA noted the two countries may also discuss the possibility of joint exploration in the disputed waters.
“There are samples around the world where there were disputed areas and an agreement had been reached allowing both countries access. That was because they dealt with sovereignty rights or economic rights,” said the DFA secretary. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
DFA opens online appointment for 10-year validity passports
Passport and passport application form
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will start issuing passports with 10-year validity starting January 2018.
This follows the Republic Act 10928 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August which aims to extend the Philippine passport validity up to 10 years except for passports issued for minors that will remain to have a five-year validity.
That is why to those who wish to apply or renew their passports, you can already apply for a passport appointment online at www.passport.gov.ph/appointment.
You may schedule an individual or group appointment by choosing a date that has an available slot.
Senior citizens with IDs, persons with disabilities, single parents with a valid solo parent ID, pregnant women with a medical certificate and children seven years old and below, do not need to apply for an appointment.
Passport fees will remain the same: P950 pesos for regular processing and P1,200 pesos for express processing.
The DFA reminds applicants that scheduling of appointments is free and beware of “fixers”. — UNTV News & Rescue
DFA to accept e-payments next year for passport applications
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shall implement the electronic payment of passports for citizens who wish to apply for a passport or renew one in 2018.
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said DFA is completing the system for the online appointment of passports.
To avoid the surge of online appointments, the DFA is also considering to forfeit the payments of those who will not appear on their scheduled appointments.
“Kung meron nang e-payment (once e-payment is in place), when you make your appointment, we will get either 50% or 100% pag hindi ka dumating (when you don’t appear). So that should take away all of this,” Cayetano said.
The DFA meanwhile clarified that passports may be immediately available for senior citizens, single parents,
persons with disabilities or PWD’s, children below 7 years old accompanied by siblings or parents, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even for their first trip outside the country.
The DFA will also deploy mobile passport processing units to bring passport processing closer and more accessible for the public. – UNTV News & Rescue