Press Release
May 17, 2017

Villar says signing of law on 10-year passport validity a Duterte priority

After the approval by both houses of Congress of the bicameral conference committee report on the bill extending the validity of Philippine passports, Sen. Cynthia Villar expressed confidence that President Rodrigo Duterte will prioritize the signing of the bill into law.

"Extending the validity of passports from five to 10 years is included in the President's legislative agenda. With the speed and efficiency both houses of Congress provided in passing this bill, it goes without saying that we are all in agreement that this measure will work for the benefit of the traveling public, especially our overseas Filipino workers," Villar said.

During President Duterte's State of the Nation Address last year, he asked Congress to amend the 20-year-old law and extend the validity of passports.

Villar, vice chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations, said the Bicameral Conference Committee members agreed to adopt in full all sections of the Senate version or Senate Bill 1365.

The bill seeks to amend Section 10 of Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 extending the validity of regular passports for a period of 10 years. For individuals under 18 years of age, only a passport with 5-year validity shall be issued.

Villar heads the Senate conferees with members Senators Joel Villanueva, Richard Gordon, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.

Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica heads the House of Representatives conferees with members Representatives Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Ana Cristina Siquian Go, Alexandria Gonzales, and Aniceto "John" Bertiz III.

The Upper Chamber approved the bicam report in its plenary session on Wednesday while the lower house approved the report on Tuesday. The bill will now be submitted for the president's signature.

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