This is your complete guide for Philippine Passport.
A Philippine passport is both a travel document and a primary national identity document issued to citizens of the Philippines. It is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Philippine diplomatic missions abroad, with certain exceptions.
The DFA began issuing maroon machine-readable passports on September 17, 2007, and biometric passports on August 11, 2009. The green colored cover non-electronic passports are still valid until they expire. Philippine passports are printed at the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Production Unit plant in Malvar, Batangas.
Types of Philippine Passports
There are three types of Philippine passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. These are currently designated by the colors maroon (regular), red (official), and dark blue (diplomatic).
|From left to right: regular, official, and diplomatic|
A regular passport is issued to any citizen of the Philippines applying for a Philippine passport. It is the most common type of passport issued and is used for all travel by Philippine citizens and non-official travel by Philippine government officials.
An official passport is issued to members of the Philippine government for use on official business, as well as employees of Philippine diplomatic posts abroad who are not members of the diplomatic service. It is the second of two passports issued to the President and the Presidential family. As such, this passport does not extend the privilege of diplomatic immunity. Government officials are prohibited from using official passports for non-official business, and as such also have regular passports. This passport has a red cover. This passport has a validity of 6 months.
A diplomatic passport is issued to members of the Philippine diplomatic service, members of the Cabinet, service attachés of other government agencies assigned to Philippine diplomatic posts abroad and Philippine delegates to international and regional organizations. It is the first of two passports issued to the President of the Philippines and the Presidential family. This passport has a dark blue cover and extends the privilege of diplomatic immunity to the bearer.
Philippine Passport History
Prior to the Spaniards' arrival in the Philippine islands, indigenous peoples have been travelling freely within the islands and to neighboring Asian states to facilitate trade and commerce, primarily in the form of seafaring. During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the Spaniards introduced a travel document to the Philippines called the chapa, or a writ of safety to go from one place to another, which the natives used from the 1500s to 1600s.
Philippine passports were released after gaining independence from the United States in 1946. Passports were ordered to be printed in Filipino for the first time under President Diosdado Macapagal, to be subsequently implemented under his successor, Ferdinand Marcos. Currently, it is printed in Filipino with English translations.
With the adoption of the 1987 constitution, the power of issuing passports was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the current Department of Foreign Affairs. The Philippine Passport Act of 1996 governs the issuance of Philippine passports and travel documents. Philippine passports are only issued to Filipino citizens, while travel documents (under Section 13) may be issued to citizens who have lost their passports overseas, as well as permanent residents who cannot obtain passports or travel documents from other countries.
On May 1, 1995, green covers were instituted on regular passports for the first time, and barcodes were inserted in passports in 2004. The new security-enhanced passport is a prerequisite to the issuance of new machine-readable passports which was first issued to the public on September 17, 2007. The Philippines used to be one of the few countries in the world that had not yet issue machine-readable regular passports although machine-readable passports for public officials have been issued since June 18, 2007.
On August 2, 2017, Republic Act 10928 was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, which extends the validity of passport from 5 years to 10 years. Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the new Philippine Passport Act on October 27, 2017. The act was implemented on January 1, 2018.
Machine-readable Philippine Passports
In 2006, the DFA and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas started a five-year passport modernization project designed to issue new Philippine machine-readable passports (MRP). However, an injunction was issued against the project by a lower court, only to be overturned by the Supreme Court and ordering the DFA and the BSP to continue the project.
The machine-readable passport is designed to prevent tampering through the use of a special features embedded in the passport cover, similar to other machine-readable passports. It also has more pages than the previous passport (44 pages instead of the previous 32) and processing times were expected to be accelerated.
Officials from the DFA have clarified that the older, green, non-MRP passports will expire as scheduled on their original expiration dates. However, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requires all member states to issue machine-readable passports by April 2010, hence some countries may deny entry to Filipinos still in possession of the green, hand-written passports.
Biometric Philippine Passport
In late July 2008, the DFA has announced plans and the possible implementation of a new Biometric Passport System for new passports. It is expected that the government will start issuing biometric passports by the end of 2009. On August 11, 2009, the first biometric passport was released for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The e-passport had various security features, including a hidden encoded image; an ultra-thin, holographic laminate; and a tamper-proof electronic microchip costing at around 950 pesos for the normal processing of 20 days or 1,200 pesos for the rush processing of 10 days.
As of July 2015, the Philippine passport is printed in the Asian Productivity Organization or APO Productions under the Presidential Communications Group. On August 15, 2016, the new generation e-passport was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs with advanced security features such as the upgraded microchip to capture the personal data of the applicant, invisible ultraviolet (UV) fluorescent ink and thread, and elaborate design when subject to UV light.
Security inks were also used to print the passports to prevent forgery. These inks include intaglio, which are visible inks that have a distinct ridged feel and ultraviolet ink that appears when exposed to infrared lights. Other security features include watermarks, perforated passport numbering, embedded security fibers, among others.
Aside from making the new e-passport tamper-proof, each leaf of the 44-page document depicts Philippine artifacts, cultural icons, historic places, renowned tourist destinations, and even lyrics of the national anthem in the pre-Hispanic Baybayin script used to write Tagalog.
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Philippine Passport Appearance and Details
Philippine passports are maroon, with the coat of arms of the Philippines emblazoned in the center of the front cover.
The word "PILIPINAS" is inscribed above the coat of arms, which now has hatchings to indicate the tinctures gules (red, for the right field) and azure (blue, for the left field). The word "PASAPORTE" is inscribed below, with the biometric passport symbol appearing beneath it.
Philippine passports are bilingual, with both issued text and information page data in Filipino followed by English translations. Brown passports once had all the Filipino text written with diacritics, but this was discontinued in the green and maroon passports. Pages 4–43 have, on one page per 2-page spread, (a) lines(s) of the national anthem, the Lupang Hinirang. The odd pages of pages 3–43 have a Baybayin text that says "Ang katuwiran ay nagpapadakila sa isang bayan" ("Righteousness exalts a nation") in reference to Proverbs 14:34.
Identity Information page
Philippine passports have different styles of data pages. Old brown passports have both a data and physical description page, with the picture located on the description page rather than the data page; these are separated by the passport note. Green passports issued before 2004 have the data page on the inner cover followed by the passport note page. Passports issued after 2004 have the passport note and data pages reversed, with the passport note on the inner cover page.
The data page contains the following information:
- Passport type (P)
- Country code (PHL)
- Passport number
- Passport numbers vary with each type of passport. Brown passports have a letter followed by six numbers, while green passports issued before 2005 have two letters followed by six numbers. Passports issued after 2005 (including machine-readable and biometric passports issued prior to August 15, 2016) have two letters followed by seven numbers. Passports issued after August 15, 2016, have a letter followed by seven numbers, which is then followed by another letter.
- A bearer's last name goes first, followed by the first names and middle name (mother's maiden last name)
- Nationality (Filipino)
- Date of birth (written in DD-MM-YYYY date format with months abbreviated)
- Place of birth
- Sex (M or F)
- Date of issue
- Date of expiry
- A Philippine passport is valid for ten years for adults and five years for minors from the date of issue. Passports issued from 1981 to 1986 were valid for two years and may be extended for another two years. Passports issued before January 1, 2018, were valid for five years.
- Issuing authority
- Valid issuing authorities for Philippine passports include the main office of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, branch offices of the DFA located in certain cities around the Philippines, and Philippine embassies and consulates.
- PhilSys Number
- Signature of bearer (for biometric passports)
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
A Philippine passport is invalid if the passport is not signed, and normally the bearer affixes his/her signature on the signature field, whose position has varied with various incarnations of Philippine passports. Persons too young to sign a passport previously may have a parent or legal guardian sign the passport on their behalf, although this has since been prohibited.
Brown passports originally contained the signature field below the data page at the passport's inner cover. When green passports began being issued in 1995, a field where the bearer must sign the passport appeared below the passport note.
Machine-readable passports originally had no signature field, a source of much controversy as Filipinos applying for foreign visas, whether for travel or employment, have either been requested to get a copy of their passport application form to verify their signature, or denied altogether. Newer versions of this passport eventually had the signature field at the back cover, below the important reminders for Philippine passport holders, while older versions have the field stamped on.
Biometric passports from August 2009 to August 2016, are the only Philippine passports which do not require the physical signature of the bearer, as an image of the bearer's signature is printed onto the passport data page. Physical signatures are once again required for biometric passports issued after August 15, 2016, with the signature field on page 3.
Visa Requirements for Filipinos
|Countries and territories with visa-free entries or visas on arrival for holders of regular Philippine passports|
As of January 31, 2022, Philippine citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 66 countries and territories, ranking the Philippine passport 77th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.
How and Where to Apply for Philippine Passport
The new biometric Philippine passport costs 950 pesos (approximately $18) in the Philippines or $60 abroad. Overtime processing for new passports costs an additional 250 pesos. Persons who take advantage of overtime processing get their passports within seven days for applications for:
- Metro Manila
- DFA Consular Affairs office
- Alabang Town Center
- SM Megamall
- Robinsons Galleria
- Region 3
- DFA Pampanga regional office
- Marquee Mall in Angeles
- Robinson Starmills in Pampanga
- Xentro Mall in Malolos, Bulacan
- Region 4-A
- DFA Lucena regional office
- Robinsons Lipa in Batangas
- SM City Dasmariñas in Cavite
- SM City San Pablo in Laguna
- SM Cherry Antipolo in Rizal
For complete list, see all DFA Branches in the Philippines (for New Philippine Passport and Renewal)
Overtime processing takes 15 to 20 days in other provinces.
For Filipinos abroad, it will take up to 120 days. Passports previously could be amended for 100 pesos (approx. $2.50) in the Philippines or $20 abroad, although machine-readable passports are no longer amendable.
Lost or stolen passports may be replaced for 700 pesos (approx. $14) in the Philippines, $90 abroad.
As of 2018, the DFA requires all applicants (new or renewal) to secure an appointment online through their website.
For those who haven't got a passport, read my guide for NEW PASSPORT APPLICATION.
If you are renewing your passport, go to - PASSPORT RENEWAL APPLICATION PROCESS
To see the complete list of IDs and documents you need to prepare when applying for a Philippine passport for the first time, visit Requirements to Prepare for DFA Passport Appointment
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