Philippine passport holders can now avail of 10 years validity the next time they renew their passports after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 10928 Wednesday, effectively amending Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
Until the law was enacted, Philippine passports are valid for five years.
RA 10928 states regular passports “issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of 10 years” from the current five years under RA 8239 provides, “Regular passports issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of five (5) years.” However, individuals below 18 years old shall be issued passports valid for only five years.
Furthermore, RA 10928 also states that Philippine passports with validity of less than 10 years can still be issued “whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary.”
This newly-signed law shall take into effect “15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in a national; newspaper of general circulation.”
Prior to the President’s signing, Senate approved Senate Bill 1365, or the Philippine Passport Act, on third and final reading on May 15, 2017. A counterpart bill, House Bill 4767, was passed on third and final reading in the House of Representatives last February 13.
Proponents of the bill said overseas Filipino workers are among the main beneficiaries of the proposed amendment.
“This measure will certainly give comfort to our OFWs. Often, they have to file a leave from work for them to be able to travel back and forth to the nearest Philippine embassy or consular office to get their passports renewed,” Senator Sonny Angara, one of the bill’s authors, said.