Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Senate OKs bill extending passport validity to 10 years

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill extending the validity of Philippine passports from the present five years to 10 years, a proposed measure seen to immensely benefit OFWs.
Senate Bill No. 1365 or the Philippine Passport Act was approved with 18 affirmative votes.
The bill was authored by Senators Richard Gordon, Cynthia Villar, Ralph Recto, JV Ejercito, Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Villar, vice-chairperson of the Senate foreign relations committee, said the proposal will make travel abroad easier, especially for OFWs.
“We owe a lot to our OFWs. They keep our economy afloat with their remittances of approximately $50 billion annually. Giving them a 10-year guarantee on their right to travel abroad will certainly be a great help to them,” Villar said.
Ejercito also welcomed the approval of the bill.
“I am glad that the Senate is quick to pass this measure which will surely reduce the wastage of government and citizens’ resources," he said in a statement.
Under the proposal, regular passports shall be valid for a period of 10 years. Those 18 years old and under, however, shall be issued passports with a five-year validity.
The House of Representatives has approved the counterpart measure in February.  —KBK, GMA News

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