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Matigas ang ulo! Palace told printing firm UGEC to turn passport data over to DFA in 2017- Yasay

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Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. has identified United Graphic Expression Corporation (UGEC) as the printing company which has held the data of passport holders hostage after its contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ended.

In a Facebook post Saturday (January 12), Yasay revealed that Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo had ordered UGEC to turn over “all rights over all the personal data, source code, data center and other information reting to the performance of the E-passport printing services” to the DFA or acknowledge that these information are exclusively owned and controlled by the agency.

The order came after Panelo found that APO Production Unit Inc. (APUI), an entity under the former Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), illegally subcontracted the job of printing passports to UGEC.

“Upon information and belief, it appears that UGEC which continues the illegal production of the E-passports has not complied,” Yasay said.

Yasay served as DFA Secretary from June 30, 2016 to March 8, 2017.

Incumbent DFA Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. has pointed to the passport data loss as the reason why applicants for passport renewal needed to bring their birth certificates during the processing of documents.

DFA awarded the contract for printing passports to APUI in 2015 without public bidding under then-Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario.

Prior to this, the passports were printed by the French company Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciare (FCOF).

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