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Why isn’t DFA printing passports? Locsin explains reason for getting private contractor

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The printing of passports is such an expensive and complex job that the task is best left to a private contractor.

This was the essence of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr.’s response to tweets criticizing the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for hiring a private contractor to print passports. Concern over the personal information of passport holders shot up after Locsin admitted that the DFA’s old contractor ran off with all the public data.

Locsin told netizen @JamesMangun Saturday (January 12) that only the governments of rich countries can afford to print their own passports.

“Hoy, I doubt that is done in any foreign ministry on the planet except maybe rich countries. Keep giving us more duties that—say government printing can do—and you overload the work of diplomacy and protection of nationals abroad, our remit,” he said.

Locsin said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) used to print passports for the DFA but “it was a drag” on the central bank’s operations that the contract was given to another entity.

“Maybe if we gave BSP a bigger budget. I trust the Central Bank above all other institutions,” he said.

Locsin said the contract for printing passports is “back with a private contractor” though he did not name the company.

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