House seeks 10-year passport validity

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2016 06:35 PM

MANILA- A House of Representatives technical working group is seeking to extend the validity of the Philippine passport to 10 years for adults and five years for minors.

A technical working group of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has consolidated 22 bills, all seeking to amend Republic Act 8239 or the “Philippine Passport Law.”

Under the proposal, validity of passports for of minors, aged zero to 
17 years old will be extended to five years while those 18 years old and above will have passports valid up to 10 years.

Arroyo said it is not the intention of the authors of the bills to introduce any other amendment to the existing law, but only to lengthen the passport’s validity.

She added that the present five-year passport validity “is rather too short given the tedious process and cost it requires to obtain or renew a passport.”

The law defines a passport as “a document issued by the Philippine government to its citizens and requesting other governments to allow its citizens to pass safely and freely, and in case of need to give him/her all lawful aid and protection.”

Section 10 of RA 8239 provides that the passport shall only be valid for a period of five years regardless of the age of the applicant.
With the amendment approved by the working group, the provision of the said law shall read:

“SECTION 10. Validity. Regular passports issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of five (5) years for minors, ages zero to seventeen (0-17) years old and ten (10) years for adults eighteen (18) years old and above: Provided, however, That the issuing authority may limit the period of validity to less than ten (10) years; whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary: Provided, finally, That a new passport may be issued to replace one which validity has expired, the old passport being returned to the holder after cancellation.”

The consolidated bill will be presented to the Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Bulacan 4th District Representative Linabelle Ruth Villarica during its next hearing.