President Duterte signs into law 3 of his priority bills

Three new laws have just been signed by the President!

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law three bills today. These bills are the extension of Philippine passport validity to 10 years, the extension of the validity of the driver's license to five years, and the establishing free internet access in public places.

Republic Act (RA) 10928 is a measure provides for a ten-year validity of regular passports for 18 years old and above. Current passport law provides for a validity of five years. A new passport may also be issued to replace one which validity has expired.

Under RA 10928, the Department of Foreign Affairs is designated to issue implementing rules and regulations that will make the passport processing system “seamless, convenient and pro-people.” The law is a consolidation of Senate Bill 1365 and House Bill 4767 approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 17 and May 16, respectively.

Meanwhile, RA 10930 will extend the validity of all professional and non-professional drivers licenses from three years to five years. The law mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to adopt measures to prevent any alteration or falsification of a license or measures that will enable the LTO to detect unauthorized driver’s licenses. The LTO is also mandated to create an online process for the renewal of professional and nonprofessional licenses within a year after RA 10930 is enacted.

RA 10929, on the other hand will establish the free internet access program in public places nationwide. The public can now access free Internet connection in “national and local government offices; public basic education institutions; state universities and colleges, and technology institutions; public hospitals, health centers, and rural health units; public parks, plazas, libraries and barangay reading centers; public airports and seaports; and public transport terminals.” The law provides that no fees shall be collected from users to connect to the public Internet access points.It will also allows the DICT to form partnership with the private sector to promote an “efficient and cost-effective” delivery of the free Internet access for public places.

President Duterte identified these bills as priority legislation in his first State of the Nation Address as a means to remove red tape in government. br />
Here are copies of the three newly-signed RAs: