It sounds odd for a country whose websites are routinely defaced, airport security tainted with corruption, but while other passports are more powerful by virtue of visa-free access to more countries, the Philippine passport appears to be the most secured in the world.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, the Philippine government, which said it will have launched in April a fraud-proof, machine-readable e-passport.
The enhanced security of the new passport version prides itself of features that are difficult to replicate:
- An embedded chip with biometric information used to identify the identity of the traveler, including a photo, fingerprints, and signature.
- It has scalable feature that allows additional information that may be required in the future.
- In addition to the illustrations depicting Philippine history laid out on every page, intaglio printing, which adds a fine-lined embossed effect on printed surface is exceptionally difficult to copy.
Although the state-of-the-art feature will cost the Philippine government roughly $216 million to roll out, this cost will not be passed on to travelers. Passport processing fees will remain the same ($60) and the six-week processing time will be reduced to four weeks.
As the country’s passport update is not without controversies, it remains to be seen how this fraud-free passport feature resists tests with flying colors.