Press Release
July 27, 2016

Villar files bill to extend validity of passport to ten years

Sen. Cynthia Villar filed a bill seeking to extend the validity of the regular Philippine Passport from five to ten years to resolve long queues and backlog in the application process.

Senate Bill 324 seeks to amend Republic Act 8239 of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, which established the guidelines for the application and issuance of passports.

"This amendment is a measure that will enable us to comply with President Duterte's directive to avoid long queues for government services. Given that there has been a steady increase of the number of Filipinos desiring to travel abroad due to the increase in the deployment of overseas Filipino workers and to the increasing affordability of foreign travel, we foresee not only longer queues but also a backlog of passport applications that will take weeks and even months to process," Villar said.

"Increasing the passports' validity will, in effect, lessen the frequency and volume of applications for renewal and will contribute in reducing, if not eliminating, the long queues at Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) offices," she added.

Under the proposal, regular passports issued to adult applicants will be valid for a period of ten years, while those regular passports issued to minors shall be valid for a period of five years. The bill also authorizes the DFA, in its disretion, to decrease the period of validity in both instances whenever national economic interest or political stability of the country warrants it.

Villar said the passports with longer validity will complement the measures adopted by the DFA to address the long queues and ease the backlogs in both application and release of passports such as additional frontline personnel, change in the layout of work stations and locations of service providers, and the institution of a dedicated OFW lane.

Villar also noted that countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand issue passports with ten-year validity.

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