The first e-passport with Serial Number EA0000001 was issued on Tuesday to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The e-Passport, which is currently being used in over 60 countries, is different from the machine readable passports that are currently being issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Its security features reportedly include a hidden encoded image, an ultra-thin holographic laminate, and a tamper-proof electronic microchip that stores the passport holder’s photograph and other personal data for easy verification of identity and is fully inter-operable.
Initially, application for the ePassport, which costs 950 pesos will be on appointment basis. Full implementation of the project will take place in the next three months. Filipino passport applicants may still choose between the ePassport and the machine-readable passport (MRP).
Meanwhile, holders of the green passports need not worry as the DFA had asked the international community to still honor them until their expiration dates.