Ronaldo Z. Concha
JEDDAH — The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah announced that the use of the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) will not be further extended as it is already being phased out in favor of the more advanced electronic passport (e-passport), said RJ Sumague, Vice Consul and head of the Consular Section.
He advised Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are still using the MRP as well as those whose passports are about to expire, to submit them for renewal as early as possible to avoid delays this coming holiday season.
Sumague said processing and release of the e-passport may take up to 30 days so OFWs should take note of the six-month validity observed by most countries, including the Kingdom, where holders of passports valid for less than six months are not granted an exit/re-entry visa. He added that the consulate had indefinitely suspended the appointment system for submitting passport renewal applications and has instead adopted a first-come, first-served system.
Applicants wishing to renew their passports, must apply in person, bring the original passport, photocopies of the front and back and the SR240 processing fee. Upon pickup, the original passport must be produced along with the official receipt. Applicants who have lost their official receipt, should present a notarized Affidavit of Loss for the release of the passport.
Sumague said applicants can call (02) 668-9776 to check if their passports are ready for pickup.
Electronic passports have advanced security features that meet the highest standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Passports contain an electronic chip, which holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-passport also contains a biometric identifier.