LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos has expressed her deep gratitude to President Rodrigo R. Duterte and lawmakers for signing into law Republic Act (RA) 10928, which extends the regular validity of Philippine passports from five to 10 years.
“Napakarami nga tayong mga overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) dito sa Ilocos Norte. Halos lahat ng taga-rito, may kamag-anak na nasa abroad, nagsisikap at nagpapadala ng ‘pao-it’ [Ilocano for ‘padala’] upang makatulong sa pamilya,” the governor said.
RA 10928 amends the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, RA 8239. Five-year validity remains however for passport holders under 18 years of age.
The governor pointed out the convenience provided by the extended validity as she stressed that an estimated 61% of families in this province receive remittances from relatives working abroad.
She added that people in Ilocos Norte often look forward to the mobile passporting services of the Department of Foreign Affairs, because passport processing would otherwise require them to travel to regional offices.
“The rise of budget airlines has widened opportunities for travel,” she said, “especially with so many having families and loved ones to visit abroad.”
Emphasizing travel as a demand of an increasingly globalized economy and job market, Marcos said: “Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat dito sa Ilocos Norte kay Presidente Duterte, ni Apo Digong, pati na rin sa lahat ng ating mga senador at congressman na pumabor sa pagpapahaba ng passport validity.” (Tawid News, with report of Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)