MANILA - Senior citizens should be given passports with lifetime validity to spare the elderly from the "rigorous process" of renewing their travel documents, Sen. Lito Lapid said in a proposed measure.
Lapid's Senate Bill No. 1197 seeks to amend the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 to ensure that passports of Filipinos aged 60 and above will have no expiration dates.
"Through this lifetime validity, our senior citizens are spared from the rigorous process and long lines often associated with passport application and renewal," Lapid said on the bill's explanatory note.
"This is also beneficial to senior citizens who live far away from city centers where DFA Consular Offices are usually situated," he said.
The Foreign Affairs Department may change the validity of passports "whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary," it said.
Currently, passports are valid for 10 years.