Tuesday (March 7) – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, filed the committee report on a measure seeking to extend the validity period of the Philippine passport from five (5) to ten (10) years.
“Let me assure all stakeholders and our colleagues that we are doing all we can to ensure that the President’s legislative agenda, which is rooted in his goal to create real change, will be achieved under our watch,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano expressed support for the proposal to extend the validity of passports and assured that his committee is doing all it can to respond to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to amend Republic Act No. 8239, otherwise known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
The Foreign Relations Committee led the discussions on several proposed bills aimed at extending the validity of passports. It filed Senate Bill No. 1365 under Committee Report No. 45, a counterpart of House Bill (HB) No. 4767 that was already approved on the 3rd and final reading last February 13.
“All our efforts are in line with the President’s promise during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) as well as with our campaign promise to promote the welfare of our people, particularly our migrant workers,” Cayetano stressed.
The senator acknowledged the need to make the passport application process more “seamless, convenient, and pro-people.”
“Simplifying our passport application system would ease our people’s burden of having to renew their passports every few years. It would also prevent any backlogs in the issuance of passports,” Cayetano said.
He added that the application process should be made hassle-free particularly for OFWs, as any delay in the processing of their travel documents could cost them their jobs abroad.
“I remain confident in our President’s strong commitment to fulfill his promise of change to the people. That is why we are doing all we can under our power to help him in his goal of pushing for more genuine reforms that will make our people’s lives easier,” Cayetano ended.