THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday offered to applicants for passport renewals the extension of the validity of their passports for one to two years free of charge because of the backlog in passport issuance.
In a statement, the department said that Filipinos here and abroad can apply for the extension of the validity of their current passports free of charge.
The only condition is that they are supposed to apply for a renewal of passport at the same time of the application for extension of validity of their current passport.
The DFA said the extension of passport validity will be processed and released "within the same day."
"Passport extensions for all shall be available only until the end of this year," the department added.
The announcement came on the heels of the department's admission that passport delays topped 100,000 at some point, but is now down to just 42,000 because of a new facility in Lima, Batangas that can churn out about 6,000 to 7,000 passports a day.
These are on top of the 10,000 to 11,000 being produced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the DFA's official partner for its electronic passport (ePassport) project.
The offer to extend the validity of existing passports started in mid-June, but there were existing conditions then and it was not free of charge. (CVB/Sunnex)