The Philippine Passport Act of 1996 (Republic Act No. 8239) declares that a “Philippine passport remains at all times the property of the Government, the holder being a mere possessor thereof” as long as it is valid. It must be surrendered upon demand by an authorized representative of the Philippine Government.
Alteration, addition, or destruction of its contents is strictly prohibited. Unauthorized changes will render a passport invalid and will have accompanying penalties. Using the passport as collateral is against the law and will automatically render the passport cancelled.
OBLIGATION OF THE APPLICANT
The information provided in the passport application form must be true and correct. The documents that will be submitted should be complete and authentic. Making false statements in the passport application form, furnishing falsified or forged documents in support thereof are punishable by law.
- A passport represents the highest category of identification document that the state can bestow upon its citizen. As such, care must be taken to protect the passport from improper handling, misuse, or loss. The passport once issued, is not merely an identification document but a proclamation of the Philippine citizenship of the bearer.
- Possession of a passport is not a right, but a privilege, and no passport shall be issued to an applicant unless Philippine authorities are satisfied that the applicant is a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines who has complied with all the necessary requirements.
- Issued passports may be withdrawn, restricted, or cancelled in accordance with law.
- The biographic details appearing on the passport are primarily derived from Philippine civil registry records, and as such, its issuance adheres to the “follow birth certificate” principle.
- Philippine passports are produced and personalized in the Philippines. Turn-around time for delivery and release of passports abroad takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks from date of acceptance of application, barring any unforeseen incidents/force majeure beyond the Philippine Government’s control.
- Passport printing and production may also experience delays in cases of possible fraud / discrepancy, assumed or multiple identity, look-out list hit, and other irregular cases that warrant further investigation by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- In compliance with existing DFA regulations (FSC No.94-10), passports unclaimed beyond six (6) months will be returned to Manila for cancellation and disposal.