10-year passport validity gets House approval
MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers gave their approval to House Bill (HB) Number 4767, which seeks to extend the validity of passports from 5 to 10 years.
Congressmen approved the measure on 3rd and final reading with a vote of 216-0-0 on Monday, February 13. It will now be transmitted to the Senate, where it will have to undergo another 3 readings.
Through HB 4767, Section 10 of Republic Act (RA) Number 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 will be amended to extend the validity of passports to 10 years.
The House foreign affairs committee's report on the measure said HB 4767 will "ease the burden of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), seafarers, business persons and the traveling public from having to renew their passports every 5 years."
During his first State of the Nation Address last year, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to amend the 20-year-old RA 8239 to make passport renewal more convenient for OFWs.
HB 4767 was authored by the following:
- Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pampanga 2nd District
- Romeo Acop, Antipolo 2nd District
- Sol Aragones, Laguna 3rd District
- John Bertiz, ACTS-OFW
- Eileen Ermita-Buhain, Batangas 1st District
- Winston Castelo, Quezon City 2nd District
- Henry Oaminal, Misamis Occidental 2nd District
- Michael Romero, 1Pacman
- Benhur Salimbangon, Cebu 4th District
- Gus Tambunting, Parañaque City 2nd District