Philippine passport

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A typical green Philippine passport issued since May 1, 1995
A typical brown Philippine passport issued before May 1, 1995

A Philippine passport is a travel document issued to citizens of the Philippines. It is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Philippine diplomatic missions abroad, with certain exceptions. Only Philippine citizens can apply for a Philippine passport.

The passport is a popular target for counterfeiters, due largely to the relatively liberal visa requirements accorded to Philippine travellers to destinations such as Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and other APEC and ASEAN countries excluding countries where visas are required, such as the United States and Japan. Philippine passports are printed at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' Security Printing Plant.

Contents

History

Philippine passports have been issued for as long as there has been a Philippine foreign service, although their history is quite unknown. Passports were ordered to be printed in Filipino for the first time under Diosdado Macapagal, to be subsequently implemented under Ferdinand Marcos.

With the declaration of martial law in 1972, travel restrictions were imposed on Philippine citizens. A letter of instruction on the implementation of martial law in the Philippines restricted the issuance of passports to members of the Philippine diplomatic service, although this was relaxed starting in 1981 with the lifting of martial law. With the institution of the 1987 constitution, the power of issuing passports was transfered from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the current Department of Foreign Affairs.

On May 1, 1995, green covers were instituted on regular passports for the first time, and barcodes were inserted on passports starting in 2004. The new security-enhanced passport is a prerequisite to the issuance of new machine-readable passports sometime in the future. The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world that does not issue machine-readable passports.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, passports were stamped with limitations prohibiting travel to South Africa (because of apartheid) and Lebanon (because of the civil war). Currently, passports are stamped prohibiting travel to Iraq due to the ongoing violence and because of the Angelo de la Cruz kidnapping.

Biometric passports

In 2006, the DFA in cooperation with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas started a five-year passport modernization project designed to issue new Philippine biometric passports. 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 new biometric passport is designed to prevent tampering through the use of a special chip embedded in the passport cover, similar to other biometric passports. It will also have more pages than a current passport (44 pages instead of the present 32) and processing and releasing times are expected to be accelerared.

It is also believed that Philippine biometric passports will be used in the fight against terrorism.

Types of passports

Cover of a typical red official passport

There are four types of Philippine passports designated by the colors green, dark blue, red and light blue.

Regular passport (green)

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. Passports of this kind have a green cover, although they had brown covers before 1995.

Diplomatic passport (dark blue)

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. This passport has a dark blue cover and extends to the bearer the privilege of diplomatic immunity. This is the one of two passports the Philippine President and the First Family.

Official passport (red)

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. 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 green passports. This passport has a red cover. This is second passport that the Philippine President and the First Family.

Seaman's Identification Record Book (light blue)

A Seaman's Identification Record Book (SIRB) is issued to Filipinos who work as crewmembers on foreign-registered ships, as well as Philippine-registered ships with a weight over 35 gross tons. This type of passport is not issued by the DFA but by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and as such is unavailable outside the Philippines. There are special requirements for this type of passport, including certification by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and other agencies. This passport has a light blue cover.

Physical appearance

The data page of the new green style passport.
The data page of the old brown style passport. It has an limitation not to travel to South Africa due to the apartheid policy.

A Philippine passport has a green cover (brown before May 1, 1995 and excluding others as noted above) with the coat of arms of the Philippines emblazoned in the center. The cover contains the Filipino words "PILIPINAS" on top and "PASAPORTE" on the bottom. Passports issued in the late Marcos era (1980-1986) had the order reversed (similar to United States passports), with "PASAPORTE" on top and "REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS" on the bottom. A typical passport has 32 pages, although a 64-page passport can be issued on request for an additional charge.

Languages

Philippine passports are issued in both English and Filipino, with Filipino preceding English. All text in Filipino in brown passports were written with diacritics included, although diacritics are no longer used in green passports.

The information on a passport's data page are written in English.

Data 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, which are separated by the passport note. Green passports issued before 2006 have the data page on the inner cover followed by the passport note page. Passports issued after 2006 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 for standard passports)
  • Country code (PHL)
  • Passport numberc0129701200
    • 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 have two letters followed by seven numbers.
  • Names
    • 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 the European date format with months abbreviated)
  • Sex (M or F)
  • Date of issued march 17 2009
  • Date of expirymarch 17 2014
    • A Philippine passport is valid for five years from the date of issue. Passports issued from 1981 to 1986 were valid for two years and may be extended for another two 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.

Philippine passports are known for having data entries written by hand rather than typed or computerized, although this is common only for passports issued in the Philippines. Passports issued by Philippine diplomatic missions typically have data entries typed rather than written.

Passport note

Most passports contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside all Philippine passports state:

Ang Pamahalaan ng Republika ng Pilipinas ay humihiling sa lahat na kinauukulan na pahintulutan ang pinagkalooban nito, isang mamamayan ng Pilipinas, na ang lagda ay makikita sa ibaba, na makaraan nang malaya at walang sagabal, at kung kailangan ay pag-ukulan siya ng lahat ng tulong at proteksiyon ayon sa batas. (Filipino)
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines requests all concerned to permit the bearer, a citizen of the Philippines, whose signature appears below, to pass safely and freely and in case of need to give him/her all lawful aid and protection. (English)

The note is first written in Filipino, and is then repeated in English. A field where the bearer must sign the passport appears below the note, although this appeared below the data page in old brown passports. A Philippine passport is invalid if the passport is not signed. Persons too young to sign a passport may have a parent or legal guardian sign the passport on their behalf.

Fees

A regular 32-page Philippine passport costs 500 pesos {$10) in the Philippines or $50 abroad. A 64-page passport costs 600 pesos ($12) in the Philippines or $60 abroad, and overtime processing for new passports costs an additional 250 pesos. Persons who take advantage of overtime processing get their passports within two days, but is only available in the Philippines. Passports may be amended for 100 pesos ($2) in the Philippines or $20 abroad.

Lost or stolen passports may be replaced for 700 pesos ($14 in the Philippines, $90 abroad; 32 pages) or 800 pesos ($16 in the Philippines, $140 abroad; 64 pages).

A Seaman's Identification Record Book may be obtained from MARINA for 550 pesos. An additional 220 pesos is added for expedited service. An SIRB may also be revalidated for 330 pesos, with an additional 120 pesos for expedited service.

Visa-free travel

See also

External links

Jonabel Labordo Tabiano

  1. 153 Arevalo Compound,San Guillermo Street,Putatan Muntinlupa City

Original Source

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