The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs began the issuance of the Philippine ePassport or electronic passport on August 11 2009. An Electronic Passport or ePassport is a passport with an added integrated circuit or chip embedded in one of the passport pages. Such chip contains the data essential in verifying the identity of the passport which include the personal data found on the data page of the passport, the biometrics of the passport holder, the unique chip identification number, and a digital signature to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip. This chip is highly interoperable; meaning, it can be read by any standard border control machine worldwide. It is integrated with high security mechanisms in order to prevent any forceful scheming of data it contains, any cloning, and any remote reading.
The Philippine ePassport contains an integrated photograph of the holder, a digitized secondary photo, and an electronic print of the holder’s signature. It also features overt and hidden security features such as Invisible Personal Information (IPI), letterscreen, microprinting, and UV reactive ink, among others.
The Philippine ePassport utilizes the digital image of the passport photograph that can be used with face recognition technology to verify the identity of the passport holder. It also makes use of the fingerprints of the passport holder for identification using the Automated Fingerprint Verification System (AFIS).
An MRP is a passport which has a machine readable zone (MRZ) printed in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. It can be read manually and with the use of a machine.
An ePassport, on the other hand, has an embedded Integrated Circuit (IC) chip where the photograph and personal information of the bearer are stored in accordance with ICAO specifications. This information can be read by chip readers at a close distance.
The ePassport also has an MRZ. The MRP is only the minimum ICAO standard in travel documents. The ePassport is the world standard in travel documents.
ePassports provide travelers benefits such as use of automated border clearance or “e-gates,” automated issuance of boarding passes, and faster travel arrangement with airlines. For countries, the use of electronic passport also provides better border protection and security.
The ePassport is available for Php 950.00 to be issued within 25 working days. Expedited processing of ePassports meanwhile costs Php 1,200.00, with an issuance of 15 working days. Machine readable passports are no longer issued except during emergency purposes.
The ePassport is relatively more expensive than MRPs because of the added security features. Comparative prices of ePassports from different countries, however, show that the cost of the Philippine passport is among the lowest in the world.
Setting an appointment
The Department of Foreign Affairs follows an appointment system for the ePassport. To secure an appointment online, simply log on to www.epassport.com.ph or www.passport.com.ph. This service is free of charge.
The DFA advises public to file their passport applications at least 12 weeks before their intended date of travel. Filipino citizens can also apply for passports in the nearest Regional Consular Offices. There are also mobile passport services scheduled by the DFA-OCA with local government units.
To respond to the recent unprecedented increase in passport applications, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) has added 1,600 new appointment slots to the regular 5,600 appointments available each working day for passport applications. This was started last May 4. Similarly, the DFA-OCA also allotted 1,500 appointment slots on Saturdays. This was started last May 7. The passport office is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays.
Applicants who already have an existing appointment and would like to have an earlier slot are advised to go through the appointment procedure again (www.epassport.com.ph / www.passport.com.ph or call 731-1000), and may try to rebook an earlier slot given the increase in appointments. Applicants are likewise reminded that the later appointment date will automatically be cancelled upon rebooking of an appointment.
The DFA now extends passports that are about to expire (6 months or less from date of expiration). Applicants are advised to mention to the processing staff that they would like to avail of this service. If the passport has been expired for more than one year, applicants are to proceed to the Passport Director’s Office, G/F Office of Consular Affairs, for assistance. Applicants in Foreign Service Posts and Regional Consular Offices may also avail of this extension for free.
OFWs, Senior Citizens, differently-abled people and infants (0-1 year old) do not need appointments. These applicants may proceed without appointments at Processing Area II, 2/F, Office of Consular Affairs.
Why are there no available appointment slots?
Appointment slots for the last three months of the year are still available. If you do not see available online appointment slots, it does not necessarily mean that they have been completely taken up.
Please Click refresh as online appointments become available from time to time. You can also check the next opening as slots for the last three months of the year are made available at 12:00 noon and 9:00 pm Mondays to Saturdays except holidays.
How to set an appointment?
You need to set an online appointment at http://www.passport.gov.ph. Appointments cannot be made on Facebook or any other platform. All appointments are free. Appointments not made through http://passport.gov.ph are not legitimate appointments.
When to renew?
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of departure. We suggest that you renew your passport 10 months before the date of expiration.
How much is the processing fee?
Regular Processing – P 950.00
Expedited Processing – P 1,200.00
Penalty for lost and mutilated passports – P 350.00
**subject to change
When can I get my new passport?
For applications made at Consular Offices in Metro Manila, processing and releasing of passports take 12 working days for regular processing and 6 working days for expedited processing.
For areas outside Metro Manila, processing and releasing of passports take 12 working days for regular processing and 7 working days for expedited processing.
For all Philippine Foreign Service Posts, processing and releasing of passports take around 4-6 weeks. The timetables do not include courier delivery.
Where can I find my appointment code?
The appointment code would be sent to the email you used in the application form. Please also check for the appointment code in the spam folder or trash folder in your email, as your email provider may direct it to these folders. If you have not received it, you may contact the Appointment Hotline for assistance: (02) 234-3488.
What to wear?
All applicants are required to wear decent clothing for passport photo capture. Plunging necklines, sleeveless clothing, spaghetti strapped tops, see-through tops, sando, tube tops, halters and the like are prohibited. Jewelleries such as earrings and necklaces and colored contact lenses are not allowed during photo capturing.
Can someone accompany you?
The DFA adheres to No Escort policy, escorts shall be prohibited from entering the DFA consular premises to accompany the applicants.
Confirmed online appointment
Accomplished application form
Current epassport with photocopy of data page
Original PSA authenticated documents that will support the change of name and / or marital status, such as marriage contract, annotated birth certificate, annotated marriage contract to show annulment/divorce/court ordered instructions, and death certificate of spouse. See the list of valid IDs to bring below
Further reading, https://www.passport.gov.ph/requirements/passport-renewal-adult
You should present at least one of the following acceptable IDs at the passport office
Social Security System (SSS) / Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) Card
Land Transportation Office (LTO) Driver’s License
Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) / Integrated Department of Labor and Employment (iDOLE) Card
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID or Voter’s Certification from the Officer of Election with Dry Seal
Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms License
Senior Citizen ID
School ID (if applicable)
Current Valid ePassport (For Renewal of ePassport)
For applicants based overseas, they may use their host government issued IDs showing their Philippine citizenship. (Example: Residence Card)
Important Reminder: The Department may require additional supporting documents as may be necessary.
Sample Passport Application (always check on DFA website for an updated one)Passport Renewal Application Sample
Claiming the passport
The applicant shall bring the passport receipt for release of the passport. Check if all the data displayed on the passport is correct before leaving the Consular Office. Passports unclaimed for 180 days shall be cancelled. Do not staple anything on the passport booklet especially the covers as it may damage the electronic chip and render the epassport unreadable.
New trunk line number: 02 556 000. The number is available for all passport and consular-related inquiries. The trunk line number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
The public may also call phone number 02 737 1000.
DFA-OCA also has fax numbers available for passport and consular-related inquiries. Inquiries can be sent via fax to 02 836 7746, 02 836 7749 and 02 836 7759, attention to Passport Division. A return call from the DFA-OCA is expected within 24 hours of receipt of the faxed inquiry.
Inquiries may also be sent through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com.