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10-year passports proposed by solon

A partylist lawmaker wants to increase the validity of passports from five years to 10 years.

AASENSO partylist Rep. Teodoro G. Montoro cited the need to amend Republic Act 8239, also known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, in response to the concerns of traveling Filipinos that the validity of passports seem to be too short at five years.

“Even overseas Filipino workers who regularly travel to various countries complain that their deployment abroad is sometimes affected by the short validity of their passports which are needed in their employment application or renewals. OFWs are usually obliged to travel to areas where their passports can be renewed with cost and also incur additional expenses in so doing,” Montoro said in filing House Bill 1894.

Montoro noted that President Duterte himself stated in several occasions that Congress should amend RA 8239, particularly on the provision pertaining to passport validity.

Quoting the Chief Executive, he said because of the short validity of passports, ordinary Filipinos are forced to apply for passport renewals from time to time, thereby experiencing long queues under uncomfortable circumstances.

He said the 1987 Constitution provides for the protection of the basic rights of Filipinos to travel without hitches.

Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the right to travel shall not be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or health as may be provided by law, he said.

“Indeed, passport validity with short period will adversely affect the traveling requirements of Filipinos. It is for these reasons that there is a need to amend Republic Act 8239, particularly the provision on passport validity,” Montoro said. (Charissa M. Luci)