Malacañang announced on Saturday that the Philippines participated in the 18th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Traveler Identification Program Symposium and Joint International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Biometrics Forum in Montreal, Canada.
In a statement, Communication Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the Philippine delegation that attended the symposium from 12 to 14 September includes officials and staff of the Presidential Communications Office, the Philippine Embassy in Canada, the APO Production Unit, Inc., and the Bureau of Immigration.
Garafil said the TRIP Symposium served as a platform for attendees to exchange information on all aspects of traveler identification management.
One of the highlights of the symposium is the importance of enhancing international cooperation and collaboration to improve the experience of travelers while addressing the multiple threats faced by international civil aviation.
“The two-part symposium, attended by more than 1,000 attendees from over 30 countries and jurisdictions, tackled technological developments, enhanced policies and best practices on traveler identification and border control to ensure safe and seamless travel,” Garafil said.
Biometrics technology, machine-readable travel documents, document issuance and control, inspection systems and tools, interoperable applications, and, capacity building and assistance to states, were among the topics discussed in the symposium.
The PCO Secretary said the ICAO/INTERPOL Joint Biometrics Forum also provided insights on best practices, specifications, and technical mechanisms, allowing the successful application and use of biometrics.
The forum also focused on INTERPOL’s role in counterterrorism.
In his opening remarks delivered on 12 September, ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar emphasized the need to push for innovation and international cooperation in improving traveler mobility and aviation security.
According to Salazar, the ICAO TRIP Strategy to ensure smooth passenger travel is composed of five key components: evidence of identity, document issuance and control, machine-readable travel documents, inspection systems, and interoperable applications.
He also emphasized the role of technology in both document issuance and inspection processes to enhance the integrity of travel documents.
Salazar added that digital credentials and technologies, such as facial recognition, are vital in ensuring the legitimacy of travelers.
Funded and directed by 193 national governments, ICAO’s core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy supporting diplomatic interactions and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly or by the ICAO Council elected by the assembly.
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