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Cayetano says 10-year passport will be cheaper for OFWs

03 July 2017

by Vir B. Lumicao

Cayetano promises Filipinos in HK that the new 10-year passport will be 'cheaper, faster' for OFWs

Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has said that the new Philippine passport with 10-year validity will be made available to overseas Filipino workers “cheaper and faster”.
Cayetano made the statement during a public forum at the Consulate on July 2, a day after attending the 20th anniversary celebration of Hong Kong’s Handover to China.
Addressing about 250 Filipino community leaders at the meeting, Cayetano brushed aside earlier reports attributed to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the new passport will cost double the current fee of $480 (US$60).
However, he did not disclose the exact intended cost, saying it was still under negotiation.
The bill extending the validity of Philippine passports from five to 10 years was ratified by both houses of Congress on May 16, and is now with the Office of the President for signing before it becomes law. The new passports will be issued after the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the new law take effect.
About 250 Filcom leaders attended the forum
Cayetano said the new passports will come with a smart cart where the details of the holder are embedded. They can thus be renewed without the holder going through the same application process, except if they are under 18 years old. The passport validity for this age group will still be five years.
Cayetano brought along with him two additional data-capture machines which he said would speed up the Consulate’s processing of passport applications. Currently, the Consulate has four such machines, which can process a maximum of 220 applications on Sundays, the busiest day of the week.
Responding to complaints about the offloading at Philippine airports of many OFW family members planning to visit Hong Kong, Cayetano said he would take up the issue with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre the next day, Monday.

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