SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano called on his fellow lawmakers to approved the proposed measure extending the validity period of the Philippine passport from five to 10 years.
Cayetano, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, filed his report on the proposed bill extending to 10 years the validity period of the Philippine passport. He said there is a need to make the passport application process more “seamless, convenient, and pro-people.” He added that the foreign relations panel had already discussed several proposed bills aimed at extending the validity of passports.
Cayetano noted that these measures were consolidated as Senate Bill No. 1365 under Committee Report No. 45, a counterpart of House Bill (HB) No. 4767 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.
Moreover, he said, 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.
“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,” said Cayetano.
He said 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.
“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,” he said.
“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,” said Cayetano.