Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday March 6, 2018 that the agency is looking into the online renewal of the Philippine passport by 2019.

During the congressional probe on the delay of the passport processing, the Secretary said: “Yung cellphone niyo, kukunan lang ng picture yung passport and then magseselfie ka. Yung face mo ikucompare sa passport and we can mail you the passport already”. (With your cellphone, take a picture of your passport and a selfie. Your face will be compared to your passport and we can mail your passport already.)

Only passports issued from August 2016 onwards are eligible for the online renewal. The previous passport contractor turned over obsolete and corrupted data and the agency has to take new biometrics again. “Once we have the biometrics, puwede nang hindi magpakita sa offices and we can do the renewals online.” Cayetano said. (Once we have the biometrics, there is no need to go to the offices.)

To hasten the processing of passports, two new regional offices will open this March and six more will open between March and June. Six passport on wheels will arrive by June. These will hopefully normalize the processing of passports.

Passports photo by DFA