Palace: Passport data breach should not burden applicants
MANILA — Those seeking to renew their passports should not be burdened by having to submit original copies of their birth certificates, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted that doing so means having to transact with the Philippine Statistics Authority, which would be an additional step in the renewal process.
This is in response to the passport data breach in the Department of Foreign Affairs, which Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. disclosed on his Twitter account last week.
Locsin earlier claimed that a contractor ran off with personal data of passport holders.
"The submission of the old or current passport which the applicant seeks to renew should suffice for the purpose," Panelo said in a statement.
Malacañang suggested that there should also be an investigation into the process of printing passports to determine if there are violations of laws that may be detrimental to the public.
"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," the Malacañang spokesman said.
Panelo stressed that the government considers the reported passport data breach a serious and grave matter.
The National Privacy Commission has been directed to investigate possible violations of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Privacy commissioner Raymund Liboro said the NPC would soon summon DFA officials, other concerned agencies and the unnamed contractor to investigate the data breach.
“Any form of non-availability of personal data, infringement of the rights of data subjects and harm from processing that includes inconveniencing the public, must be adequately explained to the satisfaction of the law,” Liboro said. —