MANILA—Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday filed the committee report on a measure seeking to extend the validity period of the Philippine passport from five to 10 years.
Cayetano, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, assured that his committee is working to respond to the directive of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to amend Republic Act No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
“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.
He said that the committee’s efforts are in line with the President’s promise during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the campaign promise to promote the welfare of our people, particularly our migrant workers.
The senator also acknowledged the need to make the passport application process more “seamless, convenient, and pro-people.”
Cayetano’s committee filed Senate Bill 1365 under Committee Report No. 45 — with House Bill 4767 as its counterpart bill — that was already approved on the third and final reading last February 13.
“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.
Meanwhile, he expressed confidence in the commitment of Pres. Duterte to fulfill his promise of change to the people.