Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara. (File photo by ROMEO BUGANTE / Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)
Senator Sonny Angara urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday to speed up the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the new passport law that extends the validity period from five years to 10 years.
“I am calling on my good friend, Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, to place a ‘Do not delay sign’ on the rollout of the 10-year Philippine passport,” Angara said in a statement.
“The earlier it can be introduced, the better for millions of overseas Filipino workers and those who travel abroad on budget tours,” he added.
Republic Act 10928 or the Amendments to the Philippine Passport Law extends the validity of passports from five to 10 years, except for individuals under 18 years old, who will still have passports with five-year validity.
READ: Duterte signs into law extension of passport validity to 10 years
DFA reported that it processes about 3 million passport applications a year, or about 250,000 every month, Angara said.
“If the passport with a longer validity can be introduced six months ahead of schedule, then that would be 1.5 million Filipinos benefitting early because of the new law,” the senator explained.
“Kung ma-delay naman ng six months, eh di halos 1.5 million na naman ang maaapektuhan (If it is delayed for another six months, then about 1.5 million people will be affected,” he added.
Angara urged the DFA to maintain the current 44-page passport, as red tape “could delay” the issuance of the new passport if the department would decide first if it should introduce a new series with more pages.
“Saka na ‘yung maraming pahina. Hindi naman lahat ng mga kababayan natin ay nangangailangan ng pasaporteng makapal,” he said. (They can add more pages next time. Not everyone needs a passport with lots of pages.) IDL
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