By Joe Avancena
RIYADH – The Philippine Embassy here and its consulate in Jeddah will start issuing electronic passports (e-passports) for Filipino workers from this month, the embassy announced Monday.
Machine-readable and manual passports will be replaced with the electronic ones as soon as biometric machines are installed in the missions, said the embassy announcement.
E-passports will cost SR240 as against SR200 for machine-readable passports. The replacement of a lost e-passport will cost SR600.
Physical presence of applicants will be necessary for collecting the required data for e-passports, the processing of which has been outsourced to Oberthur Technologies.
E-passport is a highly secure document, which can not be tampered with. It features microchip technology which allows information stored in a chip to be verified with the information displayed on the passport.
In August 2009, the first e-passport embedded with computer recognized biometrics and tamper-proof safety features was delivered by Oberthur Technologies.
More than eight million Filipino workers are employed overseas and need the most advanced travel document, like e-passports. – SG