The Daily Manila Shimbun


House approves on final reading bill extending validity of passports to 10 years

February 13, 2017

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a proposed law extending the validity of Philippine passports from the present five years to ten years and two measures seeking to grant amnesty in the payment of estate taxes and simplifying the estate tax rate.

The three bills were approved with identical 216 votes without opposition and abstentions aimed at pushing reforms as lawmakers agreed to immediately sent to the Senate the proposed measures.

House Bill (HB) No. 4767, a consolidation of 201 bills, which amends Section 10 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 will make the validity of the travel document of all Filipinos valid for 10 years.

Some of the authors include former President-turned Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, Batangas Rep. Eileen Ermita-Buhain and ACT OFW party-list Rep. John Bertiz.

Castelo said the measure which the House committee on foreign affairs approved will ease the burden of traveling Filipinos, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

HB No. 4814 or the proposed "Estate Tax Amnesty Law" and HB No. 4815 or an act simplifying the estate tax rate will amend Section 84 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997.

Deputy Speaker and Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo, one of the principal authors of the bill, said HB No. 4814 seeks to promote the settlement of estates and in turn free-up properties of unsettled estates, with the end view of generating financial transactions and stimulating economic activity while increasing tax collection.

Under the proposed law, it grants estate tax amnesty within two years from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of this measure at a rate of six percent of the decedent's net estate. DMS