Recto files bill extending passport validity to 10 years
Senator Ralph Recto has filed a bill lengthening the validity period of the Philippine passport from five years to 10 years.
In his proposed bill, Recto wants to amend Section 10 of Republic Act 8239, or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, so that the validity period of the passport can be lengthened to 10 years.
The reelected senator enumerated in the bill’s explanatory note the inconveniences that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) face in obtaining a passport.
“Most OFWs are allowed to return to the Philippines from two weeks to a month while the processing of applications and renewal of passports can take from ten to fifteen days—not including the waiting period for an appointment, “ Recto said.
“This might be too short a time for OFWs to secure new passports. Many spend their entire vacation in queues for multiple government-issued permits needed for their employment,” he added.
He clarified that the extension of the validity period of the passport will not cover minors in accordance with international conventions which state that they should be given passports that are valid for five years.
Recto’s bill also gives power to the Department of Foreign Affairs to limit the validity of a person’s passport to less than 10 years if the applicant is deemed to be a threat to national security or public safety or if the applicant does not have adequate supporting documents.
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed House Bill 487 in the House of Representatives which also pushes to extend passport validity to 10 years.
Days before he assumed the presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay to streamline the passport application process.
“Once [the requirements are] complied with, do not ask for more or less…You go to the computer and you make a projection,” he said during his last flag-raising ceremony in Davao City last June 27. /rga
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