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PIA Press Release
2010/02/26

No more issuance of MRPs by March 1, says DFA

Iloilo (26 February) -- Effective March 1 the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will no longer issue Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) as part of its passport modernization program which started in 2007.

DFA Director Sarah Salcedo said they have started issuing Electronic Passport or ePassport in their Iloilo Office since Tuesday, Feb 23 and to date they have issued 107 ePassports already, while they still issued MRPs to those who were not prepared for the ePassport application.

"But effective February 25, we will not issue MRPs anymore as long as the applicant is prepared for it when they come to the office," Salcedo said.

She said that so far, they issued MRPs to those who did not know of the new program and were not prepared with the required payments were still issued MRPs.

With its advanced security features, the Philippine ePassport is available for a fee of P950, the lowest priced ePassport in the world. No more passport photos be required, except that applicants be present for taking of biometrics, like fingerprints, photo and signature.

The ePassport's security features have been enhanced with a hidden encoded image, an ultra thin, holographic laminate and a tamper-proof electronic microchip.

DFA said this Integrated Circuit (IC) chips stores the passport holder's picture and other personal data for easy verification of identity een by border control officials in other countries using a passport chip reader.

DFA added that Filipino travelers and migrant workers will benefit the most from the globally-compliant ePassport currently being used in over 60 countries in the world.

This endeavor is a joint project of the DFA and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that makes the Philippines compliant with international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Dir. Salcedo said previously issued MRPs and non-MRPs are valid until their expiry dates, but it is a good practice to make sure one's passport is valid at least six months before intended date of travel. (PIA6/ESS) [top]

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