Expat Filipino workers to be given e-passport

DUBAI — The Philippine Consulate-General will start accepting and processing applications for the new Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) from tomorrow, ceasing the issuance of the current green passports, a Press statement said.

By Lily B. Libo-on (Our staff reporter)

Published: Mon 16 Jun 2008, 1:26 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:29 PM

However, all valid green passports issued previously by the Government of the Philippines will still be honoured as acceptable travel documents until these expire, or until the International Civil Aviation Organisation deadline of March 2010, whichever comes first, the statement said.

Issuance of the MRP is in compliance with the Philippine government's commitment to the requirements of the ICAO to issue ICAO standard MRPs no later than April 1, 2010.

Earlier speaking to Khaleej Times, Benito B. Valeriano, Philippine Consul -General in Dubai ,said, the consulate has already received over 100 applicants and is expected to continue receiving more from the 218,242 filipino expatriates living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates .

Valeriano also said that passport applicants will have to personally apply at the consulate. They are required to bring their old passports as well as three photographs taken against a royal blue background and the size of each photo should be 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm, 70 per cent of which should consist of the applicants' image.

The personal appearance of the applicant is required for data verification; finger printing and signature capture purposes. No applications by mail will be accepted.

To ensure security of the MRPs, all filed applications will be transmitted by the consulate through Speed Mail to the Department of Foreign Affairs Office in the Philippines, where these will be processed and printed. Processing time required is approximately 30 working days from the date the application is accepted.

The Consul-General will no longer accept expeditious release of passports for the new MRPs.

Meanwhile, the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi has already started accepting and processing 85 applications for e-passport since June 1. Minister and Consul-General at the embassy in Abu Dhabi, Noel Servigon urged all Filipinos with expiring passports to renew early to avoid the rush in the coming months.

A trial run on the issuance of MRP was done on June 4 during which a total of 25 applications were received. The trial run was done to identify unforeseen problems and difficulties the Philippine consulate might encounter in the process. So far, they have identified the need for new computers and additional Manila-trained regular staff.

Valeriano said that the Consulate General has also recommended to Manila that the machines for processing/printing the MRP be sent to Dubai to shorten the processing time since Manila is already receiving hundreds of thousands of applications daily from the Metro Manila applicants alone.

The new, maroon-coloured 44 page passport includes a ìmachine readableî zone containing personal date of the passport holder. It also contains security features such as watermarked paper, holograms, colour UV fibers, UV reactive links, ultra thin laminates resistant to; forgery, chemical, thermal and mechanical attacks.

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