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BATANGAS, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III on Monday led the demonstration of the new e-Passport system in the country at the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Production Unit Printing Plant in Malvar, Batangas.
The ceremonies featured the real-time processing of applications for passports submitted online from three remote sites: the Department of Foreign Affairs-Manila office and the Philippine consulates in Hong Kong and Doha.
Under this new system, regular processing of passports for the head office and National Capital Region (NCR) offices will be shortened from 15 to 10 working days, while express processing will be shortened from 7 to 5 working days.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and APO are engaged in negotiations to improve further on the current system and provide printing and personalization services for the next decade, according to President Aquino.
“The benefits of housing the entire e-Passport system here are clear: the integration of processes in an expansive and secure facility,” said President Aquino at the Lima Technology Center, Batangas.
A number of problems were encountered with the previous system like having obsolete software and hardware and the inability to meet increasing demand.
Before, booklet printing and personalization of passports were done by two different entities that Aquino said led to inefficiency.
The event also featured the personalization and release of the first e-Passport for the president. Aquino also underwent biometrics data capture.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.