Seniors, migrant workers may soon renew passports online

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — Senior citizens and migrant workers may soon renew their Philippine passports virtually after senators approved the New Philippine Passport Act on third and final reading on Monday, moving the measure a step closer to becoming a law.

The Senate Bill No. 2001 seeks to streamline the passport application process by allowing senior citizens and migrant workers to renew their passports online minus the hassle of having to go to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office.

The bill, which is among Marcos' priority measures, mandates the DFA to coordinate with other agencies to create and maintain an online application portal and electronic one-stop shop to ensure the convenience of application and ease in gathering and submission of requirements. It will also allow Filipinos who lost their passports while traveling overseas to request for an emergency passport that will be valid for a year.

Senator Win Gatchalian, co-author of the bill, said the measure also requires that passports be issued using the most up-to-date and tamper-proof data management systems.

“Binibigyan natin ng konsiderasyon ang kondisyon ng ating senior citizens at migrant workers upang hindi na sila maabala pa sa pagre-renew ng kanilang passport,” Gatchalian said. “Tungkulin ng gobyerno na gawing maayos ang mga dokumento na kinakailangan ng ating mga kababayan para sa kanilang maayos na paglalakbay.”

[Translation: We are considering the condition of our senior citizens and migrant workers so that they will not be bothered with the renewal of their passports. It is the duty of the government to properly prepare the documents required by our countrymen for their smooth travel.]

The House of Representatives passed their version of the proposed "New Philippine Passport Act" in December 2022.

After a bill is passed on third and final reading in both the Senate and House, it needs to go through the bicameral conference committee, then submitted to the president for signature before it becomes a law.