…And we don’t know what to say.
The new passport design will feature a variety of (colors,) Philippine symbols and landmarks (thus rendering the current one “minimalist” with just the Philippine Flag on the first page and the official seal on the rest of the pages). Gracing the first spread is the Philippine Eagle with the wings of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo. The second spread will have the preamble of the Philippine Constitution and the lyrics of Lupang Hinirang—all in unintelligible script! The rest of the pages will feature the country’s most familiar sights like the Metro Manila skyline, the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Mayon Volcano.
According to a report from ABS-CBN, the new design was unveiled by President Aquino during his visit to the Apo Production Unit’s high-security printing plant at Lima Technology Center in Batangas—the same plant that prints the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s excise stamps.
Front covers, or the part of the e-passport that will contain the chip, are currently being assembled in Europe. Booklet printing, meanwhile, was awarded by Bangko Sentral to Oberthur Technologies, a French digital security company.
The new passport’s booklet will be printed with the same technique used for Philippine currency. It will also have improved security features including the use of a latent image visible only at a certain angle, watermarks, ultraviolet ink, a different background design for every visa page to prevent tampering, and laser perforation for the passport number on the inside pages.
The Department of Foreign Affairs will start issuing the new and improved passport next year.