New Philippine e-Passport Offers Better Features
News about the new e-passports have been buzzing online as the Department of Foreign Affairs recently announced the release of new passports for Filipinos.
The department announced major differences in terms of design, processing and security for the new identification and travel document.
DFA reported to revamp the earlier look of old passports. Some elements will be added in or removed. The new passport will no longer bear the illustration of the Philippine map. DFA cited “political sensitivity” as the reason for removing the passport design element with the country’s dispute on the South China Sea.
Frank Cimafranca, Foreign Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, told Inquirer about this reason after conducting inter-agency meeting. The meeting evaluated the removal of the map as it doesn’t reflect the country’s territory accurately as stated in the Constitution.
The new passport will also have 44 pages showcasing the Philippines’ cultural heritage and touristic locations like the Banawe Rice Terraces and Mayon Volcano. Each page will also have lines from the Philippine national anthem.
DFA also reported the new passport to be extra secure to prevent replication. Printed element swill use secured Intaglio printing, which is only utilized by government printers. Designs like images will also have fine details that make them hard to copy.
Aside from the design, other security features will be embedded on each page, ensuring that replicating won’t be as easy.
Charles Jose, DFA’s spokesperson, reported in a press conference that it’s hard or impossible to produce bogus new passports with the new security features.
Philippine e-Passport Validity
As of the moment, the new e-passport will have the same validity period of five years. However, DFA is studying the possibility of extending passport validity by up to 10 years. This passport extension is one of the recommendations from current President Rodrigo Duterte.
Applying for new passport is not required for those with previously released passports that are still valid.
How much and How to get Philippine e-Passport?
Processing fee for the new passport still remains the same for both rush and regular processing. What will change is the processing time, which will be shorter. APO Production Unit, the agency handling online appointments, provided a media handout reporting shorter processing time of 10 days for regular processing and five days for rush processing and express lanes.