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DFA backs proposal to extend passports’ validity

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is in favor of measures seeking to extend the validity of passports from five years to 10 years.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said they are behind proposals seeking to amend Republic Act 8239, also known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, particularly on the provision pertaining to passport validity.

“We are in favor of that proposal,” he told the lawmakers before the House Committee on Appropriations briefing on the DFA’s proposed R16.63 billion budget for 2017 after Baguio Rep. Mark Go asked the department’s stand on the proposal.

Yasay said the financial impact of such measure will be factored in the fees that will be imposed. He said the passport fees will be also be doubled so as not to affect the DFA’s financial status.

“We are seriously considering the matter,” he said.

He also said they may provide exemptions for child applicants, whose physical appearance may look older and mature even years after securing a passport.

“We provide for certain exemption if the applicant is child. He or she may look older or mature after two years looks older, maturity, and his appearance may have changed,” he said.

A teacher partylist Rep. Juliet Cortuna proposed that exemptions should be granted, especially to children, considering their rapid physical development. (Charissa Luci)