New Philippine Passport Act signed into law, set to modernize passport application process

This initiative is expected to significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to apply for a passport.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. enacted the New Philippine Passport Act. Officially known as Republic Act No. 11983, it replaces the outdated Passport Act of 1996 and promises to streamline and modernize the passport application process.

Under the new legislation, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is required to establish an online application portal, which will be accessible via its official website. This initiative is expected to significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to apply for a passport.

Moreover, the new law mandates the DFA to provide offsite and mobile passport services, particularly in regions beyond the reach of consular offices and foreign service posts.

In addition to these advancements, the act also introduces accommodations for various groups requiring special attention, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, minors aged seven years old and below, solo parents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and individuals with emergency and exceptional cases.

The law has been designed with stringent penalties to safeguard the integrity of the passport application process. Unauthorized confiscation, retention, or withholding of a passport will result in imprisonment of not less than 12 years and a fine ranging from one to two million pesos. Passport forgery carries a penalty of six to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine between P100,000 to P250,000.

The New Philippine Passport Act is set to take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

Image credit: PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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