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
DFA identifies OFW found inside a septic tank in South Korea
PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Monday, May 7, that it has identified the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose remains were found inside a septic tank in South Korea.
DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano refused to name the victim, whose identity was verified through DNA samples from relatives, so as not to preempt the ongoing investigation.
The victim, who was reported missing since last month, arrived in South Korea in 2016 and worked as a factory worker.
DFA is now expediting the repatriation of the remains of the victim while authorities are tracking the whereabouts of the prime suspect who is also an OFW. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue
Cayetano says no to resignation unless Duterte orders it
Department Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano maintained there is no reason for him to resign, at least for now, following reports of career diplomats allegedly calling for his ouster from the DFA.
Cayetano said he will only leave his post should President Rodrigo Duterte ask him to.
“If the President wants me to go, I will go happily and I will continue to support him,” he said.
Cayetano said though it is normal for critics to make such call, he urged them to leave the agency and its career officials out of the controversy.
The Secretary remains confident that he has the support of DFA staff behind him amid the issues.
“If a majority in the Department of Foreign Affairs says, ‘we cannot follow you,’ I have no business being there. But so far, I have had meetings with them and, so far, they understand. They might not necessarily agree with our direction, but they understand,” he concluded. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue
DFA opens passport appointment slots from July to September
FILE PHOTO: Philippine passports
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday that its online appointment system will start accepting new applications and renewal of passports for the months of July to September.
DFA, however, clarified that the system will not open for appointments to the DFA-Aseana Complex in Parañaque City. DFA Assistant Secretary Frank Cimafranca said this is because the e-payment system in the said consular office is still being processed.
The e-payment system is a mechanism designed by DFA which allows applicants to pay fees online. It aims to stop bogus applicants and fixers. It also fast tracks the processing of passport applications.
“This time they will not do that because they will have to pay upfront so only people with urgent and legitimate need to have a passport will really book online,” explained Cimafranca.
Following the pilot-testing conducted by DFA in the e-payment system, appearance rate of passport applicants has increased to 95%.
DFA admits that the bulk of passport applications pose a great challenge to the agency. They call on the public’s understanding of the matter.
“We are not trying to prevent people from applying for a passport. Ang pakiusap lang namin kung hindi naman kailangan agad (All we ask is that if it’s not urgent) then bear with us and just wait for the opportunity by availing online appointment system,” Asec. Cimafrance concluded. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue