Ilocanos welcome passport validity extension


LAOAG CITY, Aug. 15 — Ilocanos in this northern gateway of Luzon have welcomed the passage of a law extending the validity of Philippine passports from five to 10 years.

As part of the national government’s desire to streamline and simplify government transactions, Republic Act 10928 was recently passed by lawmakers.

RA 10928 amends the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 or the RA 8239. Five-year validity remains, however, for passport holders under 18 years of age.

Marjorie Tuliao from Sarrat town said she looks forward to renewing her expired passport with 10 years validity. “I wish the DFA will set up their own office here soon so that we will no longer have to wait for the next mobile passporting schedule or travel to San Fernando City, La Union just to renew our passports,” she added.

In Ilocos Norte, about 61 percent of families receive financial assistance in the form of remittances from relatives working abroad. This is a result of Ilocano outmigration that began in the early 1900s with the Sakadas — groups of Ilocanos who left to work in Hawaiian plantations.

For her part, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos said the rise of budget airlines has widened opportunities and the desire for travel, hence, having a 10-year valid passport would certainly increase travels particularly among Ilocanos with so many families and loved ones to visit abroad.

She also emphasized travel as a demand of “an increasingly globalized economy and job market, kaya ito nga, lubos kaming nagpapasalamat dito sa Ilocos Norte kay Presidente Duterte, si Apo Digong, pati na rin sa lahat ng ating mga senador at congressman na pumabor sa pagpapahaba ng passport validity.”