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‘Di lang puro tweet: Locsin starts digging into passport data mess, orders visit to APO plant


Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. has started looking into the alleged loss of data by the government’s former passport maker, barely a week after he admitted that the Department of Foreign Affairs is rebuilding its database from scratch.

In a tweet posted Monday (January 14), Locsin said he hasn’t been giving any interviews about the passport data loss controversy because he is “digging.”

“I am digging—why no interviews; just sent 2 people to APO’S Lipa plant. Wish I coulda gone,” he said in reply to netizen @BoomBuencamino.

APO is the APO Production Unit Inc., the government agency which bagged a 10-year contract to print passports for the DFA in 2015. However, it outsourced the job to a private company, United Graphic Expression Corporation (UGEC), in violation of its agreement.

Locsin earlier revealed that the company which used to make Philippine passports “took all” of the applicants’ data when its contract the DFA ended.

The data loss was the reason why applicants for passport renewal were told to bring their birth certificates during the processing of documents.

In another tweet, Locsin said he will be conducting a “legal audit” of the two contracts signed by the DFA for the production of passports.

Perfecto Yasay Jr., the first Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Duterte administration, has said Locsin was “misinformed” about the controversy because it is UGEC which refuses to hand over passport holders’ data to the DFA and not its former contractor, the French company Francois Charles Oberthur Fiduciare.

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