PH Passport Still Has 5-Year Validity – PCG
Dubai: Philippine Consulate General (PCG) Dubai has released a public advisory on Tuesday, August 16, informing the public that the validity of the Philippine passport is still five year, following the provision of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
The public advisory follows PCG’s recent unveiling of the new e-passport that is touted to be highly secured and is believed to be one of the most beautiful passport in the world.
The idea of extending the validity of passport has been raised by President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25. He has called on members of the House of Congress to study the possibility of extending a passport’s validity to ten years from the current five years.
“On the clamor of our citizens for the timely issuance of Philippine passports, the government shall work towards amendment of the 1996 Passport Law to lengthen the validity from the current five years to ten years,” Duterte said in his speech.
Duterte even suggested on extending the validity up to 30 years, if possible.
“Tutal kayo naman ang gagawa ng batas, you are the ones who will pass the law, even if you extend it good for 30 years, okay ako. Bahala kayo, basta stretch it a little bit, because five years is simply short,” Duterte explained in his address.
Duterte also pointed out the need for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to hasten the passport application process, as he personally dislikes seeing Filipinos standing on long queues for passport processing.
In response to the president’s directive, the Philippine consulate has recently announced the installation of a new data-capturing system that would help speed up the processing of passport applications.
The new system, which processed its first 30 passport applications on its first day of testing, would be used along with the two old systems currently used by the consulate, that could process up to 350 applications per day.
“We have a new passport system in place. It will balance the new software that is being developed by DFA in Manila which they sent to us…Hopefully we’ll have a quicker processing of passports,” Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes told members of the Filipino media.
The consulate in Dubai is among the first 30 diplomatic missions to have been given the new passport machines, among the more than 80 Philippine missions worldwide.