Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



ABOUT 1,000 residents from communities living around the Subic Bay Freeport, mostly employees of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and their dependents, availed of “high tech” passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) here at a mobile passporting project Saturday.

The DFA project, which was held jointly with the SMBA, made the long trip to the DFA office in Manila or Clark unnecessary since the passport-processing centers “are brought to the people instead,” said lawyer Robert Martinez, SBMA deputy administrator for administration.

“Applicants get to save a lot on transportation, food, time and worries,” Martinez added.

Aside from convenience, the Subic passporting project also delivered the latest machine-readable passports (MRPs), said Renato Villapando, chief of the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs (OCA).

Villapando announced that the maroon MRPs launched in 2007 were now issued in place of the green colored ones which used handwritten entries.

“This will be the first time that MRPs were issued in Subic,” he said.
The new passports, he said, had lamination bearing holograms and special printing that are visible only under high-tech decoding lens. These are but some of the security features that make MRPs harder to forge, he added.

Villapando said the use of MRPs is undertaken in compliance with standards agreed to by contracting states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which includes the Philippines.

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