Int l standards don t allow passport’s validity to exceed 10 years -DFA

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said international standards do not allow the validity of passports to exceed 10 years.

This was disclosed by DFA Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) executive director Maria Alnee Gamble as the Senate foreign relations committee tackled the proposed Lifetime Passports for Senior Citizen Act.

“The [DFA] would like to reiterate our position that the grant of a lifetime validity for passports is not in keeping with the standards and recommended practices of [International Civil Aviation Organization],” she said.

“The standard and recommended practices are that passports should be valid for no more than 10 years in keeping with the possible changes in the physical appearance of the person,” she added.

Gamble said senior citizens may encounter problems in borders as the immigration officers or border guards might question the identity of the person who will travel.

“Instead of benefitting our senior citizens, they may end up waiting far longer at the border gates or entry points of foreign countries,” she said.

Senate Bill 1197 or the Lifetime Passports for Senior Citizens Act filed by Senator Manuel Lapid seeks “to further ease and give comfort to the lives of our senior citizens – by granting lifetime validity for Philippine passports issued or renewed in their favor from the age of sixty years (60) and above.”

“Through this lifetime validity, our senior citizens are spared from the rigorous process and long lines often associated with passport application and renewal. This is also beneficial to senior citizens who live far away from city centers where DFA Consular Offices are usually situated,” Lapid said in his explanatory note.—AOL, GMA News

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