Philippine Passport Validity Extended to 10 Years

Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, on the 2nd of August, signed into law three separate measures that would expand the passports and drivers license validity period and grant free access to the internet in public places.

The law is called Republic Act No. 10928 and it makes the validity period of the Philippine passport go from five years to ten years.

However, the provision is not available for minors or for people under the age of 18. Instead, they will still receive a passport whose validity period is for five years.

The Philippine government might change the passport’s period of validity making it less than 10 years “whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country, such restriction is necessary”.

Former Philippine president delighted about passport extension approval

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is the former president of the Philippines, currently Pampanga Rep. and the main author of the bill regarding the extension of the passport’s period of validity, said that she was delighted to know that the measure has been signed. In a statement, she said that “extending the passport validity from five to 10 years has been one of the first bills (House Bill 487) I filed at the start of the present Congress because I have always believed that the five-year validity is too short”.

Ms. Arroyo also said that all of her efforts paid off taking into consideration what is the tedious process and what are the costs required to renew a passport. She added that “with this new law, I am hopeful that Filipinos’ unimpaired exercise of their constitutional right to travel will be enhanced”.

On the other hand, Republic Act No. 10930, authorizes the extension of driver’s license period of validity to at least five years. However, if the applicant does not commit any violation, the validity period can be extended to 10 years.

Driver’s license validity extended similar to passport

Philippine’s Land Transportation Office (LTO) was asked to adopt tougher rules regarding the driver’s license issuance. Applying the rules means that theoretical and practical examinations measuring the drivers’ competency must be conducted. Officers issuing a driver’s license without such examinations or to an applicant who is not qualified will be dismissed from the service.

Meanwhile, applicants conniving with officials for irregular license issuance, falsifying documents, misrepresenting information in the application and cheating during the examination will receive a P20,000 fine. Also, erring applicants’ licenses will be revoked. These applicants will be banned from applying for a license for a period of two years.

The law read that “the repetition of such offense shall warrant the perpetual disqualification from being granted a driver’s license in addition to the fine above stated”.

As a recommendation of the Land Transportation Office, the transportation secretary will be granted the authority of increasing or adjusting the fines imposed by the law every five years, on condition that the adjustment must not be bigger than 5 per cent of the fine.

Republic Act No. 10929 that establishes a programme for free internet access in public places was also signed. It has the purpose of “promote knowledge-building among citizens and enable them to participate and compete in the evolving information and communication age”.

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