Saturday, December 26, 2009

Green Passports (Non-Machine Readable Passports) Maybe Not Valid

The official statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA):

09 February 2009 – The Philippines has been issuing machine readable passports (MRPs) since 17 July 2007.
All green passports (non-machine readable passports) will be valid until the stated date of expiry.
This advisory is issued to reiterate the Department’s previous statement on the validity of green passports and to allay confusion roused by recent erroneous information.

There are talks and emails circulating that the Green Passports are no longer valid April 2010 onwards. As clarified above and after reading through some materials, green passports can be issued until before April 2010 and is valid until expiry.

However, I inquired with two different travel agents, they informed me that DFA changed it's stand that it is valid only before April 2010. But I guess, it's a case of disinformation since the official website of DFA still says that it is valid until expiry. The agent's advise is that green passports may still be acceptable in Asia but it's best to change them to Machine Readable Passports (MRP) for other continents.

To avoid any inconvenience with the transition, I'll just have my passport changed to MRP or better yet the epassport, if it's already available. I won't take the chance to spoil my trip to Palau, Micronesia.

Today, I received my plane ticket confirmation to Palau, Micronesia. I am both excited and anxious to go on a diving trip come April next year. I'm on a guilt trip as well to go on vacation on a holy week. We are somehow mandated to stay home during holy week and attend church service during these times after a freak accident that happened to our family when I was barely 3 months old. It wasn't as hard as I've expected to ask for my dad's approval but I know he's not happy about it. Oops! I ought to break the rules once in a while.

Note: Picture taking for MRP is required at the office of the DFA (or is it next to DFA office? hmm...) Proper dress code is expected when entering DFA. Shorts, sleeveless, sandals, slippers or flip flops are not allowed. Entrepreneurial pinoys are on standby outside DFA to rent out clothes and shoes but you don't want to get your feet in there, do you?

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