Philippine officials said a new enhanced Philippine e-passport is scheduled to be out beginning April.
Senior Foreign Affairs advisor Ambassador Libran Cabactulan said the new passport will have a new look and will be more secured and fraud-proof.
Enhanced security features include an embedded chip with the traveler’s biometric information, which include a photo, fingerprints, and signature. This will determine beyond doubt that the person in the biometrics is the holder of the passport.
The chip can also accept additional information about the traveler that may be required in the future.
Cabactulan said the designs of the new passport are also part of its new security measures.
The upgrade will cost the Philippine government about P10 billion in ten years, though Cabactulan said the passport cost will remain the same, and the six-week processing time will be reduced to four weeks.
EVP and general manager of APO Jaime Aldaba, Jr. said the new passport will also have intaglio printing, which creates an embossed effect on the passport’s printed surface that is very difficult to copy.
Passports will be produced in APO’s security plant in Lima, Batangas.
A new machine called a bookmaster will be replacing the old system, processing 500 passports per hour. Three bookmasters will be operational by April.