By Veronica Uy
Posted date: February 05, 2009
MANILA, Philippines — The green passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are still valid until their date of expiration, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Domingo Lucenario said Thursday.
In an interview, Lucenario belied the news circulating in e-mail groups that those who renew their green passports will get new ones valid only until the end of 2009.
He said he has already requested the international community — through the Philippines’ foreign posts and the foreign embassies based here — to continue recognizing the green passports, which are not machine-readable.
At the same time, he encouraged all Filipinos with valid green passports to apply for machine-readable passports to avoid being inconvenienced at various points of exit and entry worldwide.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all countries must issue machine-readable passports by April 1, 2010. The Philippines started issuing the new travel documents starting September 2007.
“The green non-machine readable passports issued before the ICAO deadline are valid until their expiration,” he said.