Kuya is Secretary Alberto Romulo of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Last week I received a forwarded email from a friend which was forwarded by another friend, forwarded by a boss... by a colleague... by another friend... by a brother, or a sister, or a spouse, etcetera, etcetera. That email purportedly claimed that the advisory came from the DFA informing that the green colored Philippine Passport will only be valid until January 2010 afterwhich, it will no longer be accepted even if its expiration date is beyond the deadline set by the DFA. Being a good friend, brother, husband, kabayan, etcetera, etcetera... i also forwarded it for information to all kapwa Pinoys I know.
Here's the text of that e-mail:
Well, after a few days, I got again another forwarded e-mail with the subject: [Balitang_Middle_East] FALSE ADVISORY on PASSPORT Circulating in the FILIPINO Community with the following attachments.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Please take note of this advisory and disseminate this to your loved ones, relatives, colleagues, friends.....
For your information and guidance.
Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Agency Section. Please be advised that effective January 2010 ,
the green colored Philippine Passport will no longer be accepted even if it is still valid . Below are the list of new requirement for the application and renewal of Philippine Passport.
FOR RENEWAL MINOR AND ADULT REQUIREMENTS:
- OLD PASSPORT
- 3 PASSPORT SIZED PICTURES W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
- PROPERLY ACCOMPLISHED APPLICATION FORM
IF 18YRS OLD & BELOW, SUBMIT PHOTOCOPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND ORIG. PASSPORT OF MOTHER (TO BE SIGNED AND THUMBMARKED BY MOTHER ON THE APPLICATION FORM AND UNDERTAKING) PROCESSING TIME: 12WORKING DAYS
FOR NEW PASSPORT (ADULT) REQUIREMENTS:
1. AUTHENTICATED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, IF LATE REGISTRATION SUBMIT 2 OLD DOCUMENTS(EG.BAPTISMAL WITH DRY SEAL, FORM 137, VOTER'S AFFIDAVIT)
2. IF MARRIED WOMAN, AUTHENTICATED MARRIAGE CONTRACT
3. 3 PASSPORT SIZED PICTURES W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
4. ORIGINAL I.D. (COMPANY, SSS, VOTER'S, DRIVER'S)
5. FILLED UP APPLICATION FORM WITH SIGNATURE IN UNDERTAKING (2ND PAGE OF APPLICATION FORM). PLS. DON'T SIGN AND DON'T AFFIX THUMBMARK ON GREEN APPLICATION FORM
FOR NEW PASSPORT/MINOR BELOW 18 YEARS OLD
1. AUTHENTICATED BIRTH CERTIFICATE
2. AUTHENTICATED MARRIAGE CONTRACT OF PARENTS IF MARRIED. IF NOT PARENTS ARE NOT MARRIED, AFFIDAVIT OF ILLEGITIMACY
3. 3 COPIES PASSSPORT SIZED PICTURE W/ROYAL BLUE BACKGROUND WEARING DARK COLORED POLO/BLOUSE
4. DULY FILLED UP APPLICATION FORM, IF 8YRS OLD & ABOVE DON'T SIGN AND DON'T AFFIXTHUMBMARK. BUT IF 7 YRS & BELOW, FORM SHOULD BE SIGNED AND THUMBMARKED BY MOTHER
5. ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT OF MOTHER
6. PHOTOCOPY OF SCHOOL I.D. IF STUDENT
7. IF TRAVELLING WITHOUT PARENTS NEED DSWD CLEARANCE AND ORIGINAL PASSPORT OF TRAVELLING COMPANION
FOR MINORS BELOW 8 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, MOTHER IS FOR PERSONAL APPEARANCE AT DFA FOR 8-17 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, APPLICANT AND MOTHER ARE FOR PERSONAL APPEARANCE AT DFA FOR 18-64 YRS OLD NEW AND RENEWAL, PERSONAL APPEARANCE IS A MUST. ONLY 65 YEARS OLD & ABOVE ARE EXEMPTED FROM PERSONAL APPEARANCE
PROCESSING TIME: 12-WORKING DAYS AFTER PERSONAL APPEARANCE (?)
Well, what can I say now? I'm confused as the press release in the attachment was dated September 2008 which is already old and so I had to check the DFA website and here's some of the pages which might be helpful to you
For more references on the MRP, check these out:
Philippine Embassy USA , Wikipedia , Philippine Embassy in Germany .
If you want to apply, here's the DFA MRP Application Form
So, which one should we believe in and what do we do? DFA's announcement saying that the green passport will still be honored beyond January 2010 should settle the issue. However, if cost is not a constraint to an individual (especially for those who travel frequently to "strict" countries, I would rather have the green passport converted to MRP.
I wouldn't want to be delayed and held up for further investigations with the suspicion that my Arabic-sounding family name is linked to the Al Qaeda or Abu Sayyaf just like what happened to me in Heathrow London and Charles de Gaulle Paris last 2007 and repeated again in Caracas, Venezuela last three months ago.
After posting this blog earlier today, my ever well-informed friend cum Desert Aquaforce-appointed extraordinaire "Researcher" Dads Torrico sent me this confirmation - DFA: Not true green passports valid only until end 2009 ABS-CBN News Online Beta.
Thanks Dads, this is what I should call now as responsible blogging!