Bill extending passport validity to 10 years await Digong’s signature

By Inquirer.net May 17,2017
The Philippine passport. /Inquirer file photo

The Philippine passport.
/Inquirer file photo

A bill extending the validity of Philippine passports from five years to 10 years is now ready for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after it was ratified by both chambers of Congress.

On Senator Cynthia Villar’s motion, the Senate unanimously adopted on Wednesday the bicameral conference committee report on the measure.
The House of Representatives approved the bicam report Tuesday.

Villar, vice chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, expressed confidence the President would 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,” she said.

The senator noted that during the President’s first state of the nation address last year, Duterte himself asked Congress to amend the 20-year-old law and extend the validity of passports.

“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,” she added.

Villar said the congressional bicameral conference committee 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.

But for individuals under 18 years of age, the measure provides the issuance of a passport with a 5-year validity only.

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