(Eagle News)–Senator Risa Hontiveros on Saturday, Jan. 12, said the Department of Foreign Affairs owes the country an explanation for the loss of passport data by its former passport maker.
“The recent admission that a privately contracted firm took the entire physical database of all of the country’s passport holders indicates a serious national security risk, and is evidence of the Duterte government’s gross incompetence in protecting the people’s private data,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
She said the “people responsible for such a gross display of incompetence should be held fully responsible,” as she questioned why the contractor had not been sued.
She also urged the DFA to reveal other information, such as the type of data that was lost, when, how, and under whose watch it happened, and where the “breakdown” occurred.
“They say, ‘go out and see the world.’ But how can our people do that if our government can’t even provide efficient passport application and renewal services to the public?” she asked.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the DFA’s former contractor made off with the data after the agency terminated its contract with it.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Elmer Cato urged those renewing their passports to bring their birth certificates with them in view of this.