DFA Chief: Private contractor ran off with passport data

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) —A private contractor has ran off with public data, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief said Saturday.

In a Twitter thread discussing passport renewals, DFA Secretary Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin Jr. said that a terminated contractor has allegedly taken government data before leaving.

"Because previous contractor got pissed when terminated it made off with data. We did nothing about it or couldn't because we were in the wrong. It won't happen again," Locsin said on twitter.

In a later tweet, Locsin added that he wants the issue fixed. 

"I just want it fixed and not repeated. Redundancy of data was promised by previous contractor but not fulfilled or just denied us. We have no knowledge whatsoever if it has been corrected," he said.

 

These comments came after DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said that citizens renewing their passports should bring their birth certificates with them.

"Applicants renewing brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports are required to submit birth certificates because we need to capture and store the document in our database as we no longer have the physical copy of the document submitted when they first applied," Cato said.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) is set to investigate the matter.

"The National Privacy Commission shall conduct its own investigation on the Department of Foreign Affairs assertion that a private contractor has caused the non-availability of Filipino passport data and other documents entrusted to it for processing," Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said in a statement issued Saturday.

The investigation will involve summoning the DFA, concerned agencies, and the alleged contractor to determine the facts of the case.

 

CNN Philippines has reached out to the DFA for further comment on the issue.