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DFA Answers: Why Birth Certificate is Needed in Passport Renewal

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) authenticated birth certificate is number one requirements in applying for a Philippine passport. But the question of many people is, why it is still needed to present a birth certificate in renewing your passport when your expired PH passport is very much sufficient to tell who you are?

In mid-January 2019 Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, ask the same question in a Twitter exchange with an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who encountered difficulties in renewing his passport. He even questioned why it is necessary for applicants to submit a birth certificate in passport renewal.

“Isn’t the expired passport sufficient ID? How many times do you have to prove you are what the State declared you are in the expired passports?” he said, directing the question to DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato.

Passport Maker Took Away All Passport Data

But a few days later Locsin found the answers to his own and perhaps many Filipinos question why the birth certificate is still a necessary requirement for passport renewal. According to Locsin, some applicants are being asked to present their birth certificate for data purposes. This is after the previously outsourced passport maker “took away” all its passport data.

Locsin explained that DFA is rebuilding their files from scratch because the previously outsourced passport maker took all the data when the contract was terminated.

“Because the 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. Passports pose national security issues and cannot be kept back by private entities. Data belongs to the state,” he said.

No Birth Certificate Needed for E-passport renewal!

DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said applicants renewing brown or green passports or maroon machine-readable passports are required to submit birth certificates.

He said this is because the DFA needs to capture and store the document in their database so they no longer need to have a physical copy of the document.

The e-Passport is the one on the right. You don’t need to bring your birth certificate if you have that passport. If not, please make sure you bring your birth certificate with you.

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