THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) apologized on Tuesday to the public for the passport delays that were caused by "technical and operational adjustments."

"The Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA] sincerely apologizes for the current passport delays being experienced by the public, both here and abroad," the statement said.

The delays were said to have been caused by "operational and technical adjustments" required to meet the increased demands for passports.

The department said the "improved production capacity" is expected to be achieved by mid-August this year.

By that time, delivery schedules will be back to normal, the department added.

The department has transferred the printing of the ePassports (electronic passports) from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the APO Production Unit, which caused Akbayan Representative Ibarra Gutierrez to question such a decision.

He revealed that the department signed a 10-year contract with APO worth P8 billion despite the fact that APO does not have the capability to print documents with security features found in the ePassports.

It has instead engaged a subcontractor, the United Graphic Expression Corp. (CVB/Sunnex)​