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Philippine passports to be valid for 10 years from 2018

28 October 2017

By Daisy CL Mandap
Screen grab from Cayetano's live announcement on FB

The validity of Philippine passports will be extended to 10 years starting Jan. 1, 2018, from the current five, at no additional cost. Only those who are under 18 years old will still be issued five-year passports.
This was announced live on Oct 25 by Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano through his Facebook account, as he signed the implementing rules and regulations of the new Philippine Passport Act.
Cayetano said the two-month grace period will allow the government to notify agencies abroad about the change in the passport’s validity.
He also said the passport cost will remain the same because the same booklet will be  issued, meaning, it will have the same number of pages and look.
This means that in the Philippines, the passport will still cost Php950 for regular processing or delivery within 15 working days (and P1,200 for express, or 7-days processing) and overseas, it will remain at US$60 ($480 in Hong Kong).
The announcement will likely appease overseas Filipino workers, including those in Hong Kong, who had warned against increasing the passport’s cost.
OFWs have long bewailed that the cost of the passport overseas is already 324 percent more than it does in the Philippines, adding to their economic burden.
Cayetano also announced that the appointment system will remain, except for certain categories of applicants who can just walk in, including senior citizens, persons with disability, OFWs and minor children with their parents and siblings.
In places like Hong Kong and London, he said an appointment system was necessary because most OFWs are able to go out only on Sundays, and they should have an assurance that they will be accommodated when they go to the Consulate to apply for a new passport.
On regular days when there are fewer people applying for passports, he said an appointment will not be necessary.
The new passport law was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last Aug. 2, but could not be implemented without the IRR.
About three million Filipinos reportedly apply for new passports, or renew the ones they already have, every year.

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