Almost 2,000 Filipinos have applied for new passports at the Philippine Consulate-General in the first five days since the rollout of the 10-year passport began on Tuesday, an official said.
Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said an average of around 390 people showed up every day at the consulate for their passport applications, up by 26 per cent from the average 300-320 passport applications per day received in 2017.
The Philippine government began issuing passports with 10-year validity on January 3 for Filipinos 18 years and above. Those below 18 will get passports that are valid for five years.
The new validity came into effect through the Republic Act 10928, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last year. The previous passport was valid for five years.
Cortes said that, because of the new validity, the number of “no shows” or people who don’t show up for their appointment schedule had decreased.
“More people kept their passport renewal appointments this time. They used to not take their appointments seriously,” Cortes explained.
Filipinos applying for passport renewal are required to book an appointment and come on their appointment schedule. Anyone who fails to show up will not be able to rebook and get an immediate appointment date but will have to wait for one to two months, depending on availability of slots.
Those exempted from booking appointments are household service workers, minors, and humanitarian cases or those with medical emergencies or dealing with a death in the family.
Filipinos can apply for passport renewal even eight months before their passports expire.
Filipinos holding five-year validity passports do not have to worry as their passports are still valid until their expiry as stated on their passports. But they have the option to get the new passports even now, Cortes clarified.
The cost for renewal of passports remains the same at Dh240, Cortes said.
To apply for passport renewal, visit https://dubaipcg.checkappointments.com.