We Filipinos have dreamed of extending the validity of passports and driver’s licenses for years now. Although you would count years for these to expire, it’s still convenient, efficient, and thrifty, if you’d renew it for a long time, right? Yesterday, these bills has been signed into law by our dear President Rodrigo Duterte. The thing we’re yearning for is now in our hands. However, the laws extending the validities of these also impose tighter measures to ensure that people who get them are deserving.
Pres. Duterte signed the two laws Republic Act No. 10928 and Republic Act No. 10930 on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
To hand you the thought of what this means, under Republic Act No. 10928, regular passports of citizens, at least 18 years old will be valid for 10 years. While passports issued to minors (under 18) will only be valid for 5 years. Before this was signed, the maximum validity of passports is only up to 5 years.
In addition to that, the law also states that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has the right to choose validity to less than 10 years “whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary.”
The cabinet instructed the DFA to issue rules and regulations pertaining to the maximum validity of these passports. Moreover, the law dictates to the DFA that the processing of passports should be “seamless, convenient, and pro-people.”
Meanwhile, Republic Act No. 10930 extends the validity of the driver’s license from 3 years to 5 years; calculated from the birthdate of the licensee. This does not apply to student permits, though.
When a license is renewed, disregarding if it’s professional or non-professional, it will be given 10 years of validity IF the license holder DID NOT commit any violations in the LTO and Traffic Code (Republic Act No. 4136) and other traffic rules and regulations.
Aside from the extension, the new law also has a plan on aspiring driver’s license holders. It also imposes more and stricter requirements before someone can be issued a license. This new law adds a part in the Land Transportation and Traffic Code that states people who can be issued a driver’s license should be “deserving applicants with sufficient driving skills and knowledge on road safety and proper road courtesy.” Having that said, “theoretical and practical examinations” must “sufficiently measure the competency of drivers.”
But wait, there’s more! Another section is added and it states that any government employee who issues a driver’s license without complete and necessary requirements and examinations or issues to an undeserving applicant will be immediately removed from their post. Any person who commits falsification of documents, cheating on the driving test, or illegally conspire with a government official will be fined Php20, 000.00.
Our dear President prioritized this in his first State Of the Nation Address to eradicate red tape in a government.
Could this be the start of the beautification of our country? Could this lead to a better tomorrow for the Philippines? Well of course, that is yet to come but the extensions of these validities are one big jump. The restrictions of issuances can be of big help too since it won’t allow people who are not following rules and regulations.
What do you think about this?