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Marcos signs law allowing online passport applications

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 16, 2024 5:40 pm

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has signed the Republic Act No. 11983 or the “New Philippine Passport Act” into law.

The Presidential Communications Office, in a statement, announced that it was signed on March 11. 

Repealing Republic Act No. 8239 or the Passport of 1996, the new passport law allows the Department of Foreign Affairs to provide offsite and mobile passport services outside consular offices and foreign service posts. According to the PCO, the department “is mandated to establish and maintain an online application portal and Electronic One-Stop Shop readily accessible on its official website” under it.

“The DFA is also mandated by the new law to arrange accommodations for the applications of regular passports by senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, minors aged seven years old and below, solo parents, overseas Filipino workers, and individuals with emergency and exceptional cases,” the PCO said.


As stated in the New Philippine Passport Act, an individual or entity without legal authority who “confiscates, retains, or withholds any passport issued by the DFA” will face imprisonment of not less than 12 years and will be fined between P1 million and P2 million.

Passport forgers will be given jail time of 15 years and a fine of P100,000 to P250,000.

“On offenses relating to passport issuances, violators will face six-year imprisonment but not more than 12-year incarceration and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P250,000,” according to the PCO.

Penalties have also been set for unfair and discriminatory practices in line with the issuance of passports, including suspension and dismissal from services, a P250,000 fine, and six-year imprisonment.

According to the PCO, regular passports are issued to Pinoy travelers “who are not eligible or entitled to diplomatic or official passports.” This also includes government officials or workers who are traveling for personal reasons.

“Government officials and employees and members of their families may, during their incumbency in office, hold two passports simultaneously,” the PCO said.

The new law "takes effect 15 days following the completion of its publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation," it added.