Philippine Passport Processing Services
The Processing of Passport Applications is one of the services being offered by the Consular Section of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) as guided by the provisions of Republic Act 8239 otherwise known as the “Philippine Passport Act of 1996” and the subsequent issuances of the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the matter. The Department of Foreign Affairs started issuing electronic passports (e-passports) in 2009 and this is the passport that Filipino Nationals will carry when they apply for a passport at MECO.
Following the standards set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the e-passport has an embedded integrated circuit chip which contains the details of the passport, including the bearer’s biometric information. The e-passport allows information stored on the chip to be verified with the information visually displayed on the passport.
The chip is highly interoperable; meaning, it can be read by any standard border control machine worldwide. It is integrated with high security mechanisms in order to prevent any forceful scheming of data it contains, any cloning, and any remote reading.
The e-passport is highly secure; hence, it avoids passport duplication and tampering. The e-passport database is enhanced with Automated Fingerprint Verification System (AFIS) that guards against multiple passport issuances to the same person and enhances impostor detection.
The security features of the e-passport as listed above, generally allows for faster processing at airports.