President Benigno Aquino III was the first person in the country to get the all-new e-passport when he visited on Monday, July 20, the production unit printing plant of Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in Malvar, Batangas.
The ceremonies featured the real-time processing of applications for passports submitted online from three remote sites: the Department of Foreign Affairs-Manila office and the Philippine consulates in Hong Kong and Doha.
Under the new system, regular processing of passports for the head office and National Capital Region (NCR) offices will be shortened from 15 to 10 working days, while express processing will be shortened from 7 to 5 working days.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and APO are engaged in negotiations to improve further on the current system and provide printing and personalization services for the next decade, according to Aquino.
?The benefits of housing the entire e-passport system here are clear: the integration of processes in an expansive and secure facility,? said Aquino at the Lima Technology Center in Batangas.
The previous system was bogged with a number of problems like having obsolete software and hardware and the inability to meet increasing demand.
Before, booklet printing and personalization of passports were done by two different entities. This set-up, Aquino said, led to inefficiency. — PIA