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Fake passport syndicates’ days are numbered –DFA

August 1, 2011 1 comment

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan, Philippine Information Agency

QUEZON CITY, July 20 (PIA) — Bogus passport syndicates’ days are numbered, an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday as the agency integrated “hi-tech” features on its ePassport or electronic
passport.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos warned that, fake or tampered passports are the ones usually used by syndicates involved in illegal activities like human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

The official said the microchip technology embedded in the passport has allowed airport security personnel to immediately and accurately verify the authenticity of the passport holder’s data.

“The ePassport is currently of the highest level of quality similar to those being issued by other countries,” Conejos said during the “Pilipinas Natin” show that features the different government clusters of the Aquino government.

The same chip technology, Conejos said, which allows the information stored in an ePassport to be read by special chip readers at a close distance, also contains the biometrics of the passport holder, the unique chip identification number, a picture, and a digital signature.

The ePassport uses biometrics or biometric identifiers that include face recognition, fingerprints, and iris scans which are difficult to forge, he said.While its digital signature technology is used to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip, he added. This technology is commonly used in credit cards and other security documents using integrated circuits or chips.

The new passport, he said, also follows the international standards implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which makes the country compliant to its regulations.

Aside from curbing opportunities for fraud, the ePassport, likewise, helps hasten the entry formalities of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and travelers, he said. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

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