LAWMAKERS approved on final reading House Bill 4767, which seeks to extend the validity of Philippine passport from five to 10 years.

The bill was approved on Monday, February 13, without contention in the House of Representatives, or with a vote of 216-0-0.

The measure proposes to extend the validity of passports from five to 10 years by amending Section 10 of Republic Act 8239, or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

Section 10 of the existing law states: "Regular passports issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of five years: Provided, however, That the issuing authority may limit the period of validity to less than five years; whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary: Provided, finally, That a new passport may be issued to replace one which validity has expired, the old passport being returned to the holder after cancellation."

Under House Bill 4767, Section 10 will read: "Regular passports issued under this Act (Passport Act) shall be valid a period of 10 years; provided however that the issuing authority may limit the period of validity to less than 10 years, whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary, or in the case of minors below 18 years of age."

The bill was referred to Senate for another set of readings. (SunStar Philippines)

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