Press Release
July 11, 2021


Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino expressed concern over the low ranking of Philippine passports in the 2021 Henley Passport Index.

Tolentino aired his concern during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Koko Pimentel, saying that the country's No. 77 ranking should not be taken lightly by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

"It is indicative not just of the survey done, but the power of our passport," Tolentino said.

"The passport is the badge of citizenship and you should be proud of that. Ngayon, kung downgraded ang passport natin, medyo downgraded ang pagtanggap sa atin ng host country," he added.

In the 2021 Henley Passport Index, the Philippine passport is ranked 77th most powerful passport in the world, meaning it can be used visa-free in 66 destinations and with visa in 160 destinations.

The country is tied with Cape Verde Islands and Dominican Republic in the latest passport ranking.

The country's ranking, released London-based research firm Henley & Partners, was three spots lower from last year. The country also ranked 77th in 2019.

Also, Tolentino called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to tap the help of the Philippine Postal Service when it comes to passport applications.

The Senator said the DFA should consider it since the practice is already being implemented in the United States and in the European Union.

For his part, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asks DFA to maximise the use of online transaction, underscoring that technology has no limit and that it should be applied to passport renewal for the convenience of everyone, especially the senior citizens.

The DFA, through Office of Consular Affairs Executive Director Maria Alnee Gamble, said it would consider Tolentino's suggestion.

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