Philippine passports that have a 10-year validity instead of the current 5 years might become available as early as January 2018, a lawmaker said.
Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel who is among the principal authors of the Philippine Passport Act said he was confident of its passage in the Senate next month, GMA News Online reports.
“Hopefully by January 1, 2018 at the latest, everybody can start getting passports that are effective up to 10 years, in view of the forthcoming passage of the applicable legislation,” he said.
Due to this, Pimentel said the Foreign Department (DFA) should already start preparations to process the new passports so they could be immediately made available to the public.
He also said he is counting on Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to handle the transition when he takes over as DFA Secretary since he has expressed support for the proposed measure.
The Philippine Passport Act was approved by the House of Representatives on its third and final reading in February.
Under the proposed measure, Filipino nationals of legal age will be allowed to opt for a passport with a 10-year validity.
Meanwhile, minors under 18 years old will only be entitled to a passport with a validity of up to 5 years since their personal details, particularly their continuously changing facial features still need to be regularly updated in the government database.