Sen. Risa Hontiveros. INQUIRER file photo / RICHARD A. REYES
MANILA, Philippines — “The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) owes the entire country an explanation.”
Senator Risa Hontiveros issued this statement after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. disclosed that the agency’s previous outsourced passport maker “took all” the data after its contract was terminated.
“The recent admission that a privately contracted firm took the entire physical database of all of the country’s passport holders indicates a serious national security risk, and is evidence of the Duterte government’s gross incompetence in protecting the people’s private data,” Hontiveros said on Saturday.
READ: Bring birth certificates when renewing ‘older’ passports — DFA
The opposition senator questioned why the contractor is not “being sued for running away with such vital information.”
“Exactly what data were lost? When, how, and under whose watch did this happen? Where did the breakdown occur? Who exactly is the responsible firm?” the lady senator further asked.
She said that what the public needs is to be reassured that the data will be completely retrieved “with the highest sense of urgency and priority.”
“Apart from that, the people responsible for such a gross display of incompetence should be held fully responsible,” Hontiveros said.
“They say, ‘go out and see the world.’ But how can our people do that if our government can’t even provide efficient passport application and renewal services to the public?” she added. /jpv
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