Saturday, March 10, 2007

pinoy passports: out of stock by june 2007

confused? bewildered? dumbfounded?

so was i. but the DFA said so. we're running out of passports!

here's a snippet of the story:

"...the DFA, together with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said there was no way they could produce new passport booklets as the '2007 General Appropriations Act does not provide for the production of the old passports.'

'The current supply of old, handwritten passport booklets would run out before June 2007. The risk that no passports could be issued after June 2007 is real and imminent,' the two government agencies told the high tribunal."

for the full story, click here.


the lack of foresight of the leaders of this country is simply astounding.

to this day, we remain the only country in the ASEAN with ancient passports, meaning, not machine-readable. and the international civil aviation organization has given our country an april 2010 deadline for upgrading our passports to electronic ones, or we'll definitely go through a lot in immigration counters wherever we go.

which means the e-passport project should already be under way. but the project is stalled by the issuance of a temporary restraining order.

thing is, the dfa had a build-operate-transfer agreement in february 2001 with bca international regarding the e-passport production, but the dfa terminated that agreement in 2005. there is still a pending case regarding that issue, so bca international petitioned for a restraining order on the project before the dfa could award the new contract for the production to bsp again, who makes our old passports.

so here we are, a few months away from being a country that cannot issue passports.

how fun.

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