5 years is too short: GMA files a bill to extend passport validity to 10 years

  • Congresswoman GMA files HB 487 aiming to extend passport validity by up to 10 years
  • Arroyo said current passport validity is too short and is tiring to get

Cheers! The former President has already filed it.

The ex-President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has filed a bill seeking to increase the validity of Philippine passports for up to 10 years.

“A five-year passport validity is too short,” said Arroyo as disclosed by InterAksyon. “Given the tedious process and cost it requires to obtain or renew a passport.”

That is why the 69-year-old Solon filed House Bill 487 seeking to amend Section 10 of Republic Act 8239 also known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996; saying that it would further enhance the unimpaired exercise of every Filipino of his constitutional right to travel.

Article III Section 6 of the Constitution, as mentioned by Arroyo in her proposed measure, states that the right to travel shall not be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety or public health as may be provided by law.

However, Arroyo clarifies that the extension may be limited if necessary such as when there is a national economic interest or political stability in the country .

Under the proposed bill, applicants cannot apply if they still have a valid passport; the new passports may only be issued as a replacement to a passport that has expired, or if a passport has been asked for a cancellation.

At present, regular processing fee for passports costs Php950.00 and usually takes three weeks to process, while it’s worth Php1,200 for rushed passports that usually takes a week. However, glitches might still lengthen the processing time.

The former president has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City over a plunder case filed against her. She suffered complications after spine surgery but despite her illnesses, she is still an active member of the congress.

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