Duterte Urged to Prioritize 10-Yr Passport Validity Proposal

Manila Bulletin, January 17, 2017 | Go to article overview

Duterte Urged to Prioritize 10-Yr Passport Validity Proposal


By Elena Aben

President Rodrigo Duterte has been asked to certify as priority measure any of the bills extending the validity period of the Philippine passport from five to 10 years.

In a statement, Senate minority leader Ralph Recto said the measure is "one low-hanging fruit" Congress can pick, one that will benefit millions of Filipino travelers and migrant workers.

He reminded the president of a statement he made in his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July that the Philippine passport should have longer expiry.

In his speech, Duterte recalled how hurt he was seeing passport applicants queue overnight and sleep on the pavement outside a mall in Davao City where the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) maintained a satellite office.

Extending the validity of the passport would, however, requires revising Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

Days before Duterte delivered his SONA, Recto filed Senate Bill 795, which seeks to amend Section 10 of RA 8239 to make extending the passport validity possible.

In his bill's explanatory note, Recto specifically cited the inconveniences experienced by OFWs in securing a passport. …

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