addressing the issue of the old philippine passports going out of stock, the department of foreign affairs is now issuing machine-readable passports in compliance with the international civil aviation organization requirement that all travelers should have machine-readable passports.
NEC electronics donated software and hardware for the processing of the new passports.
we now have to say goodbye to our green passports, and say hello to the more modern maroon ones. government officials and diplomats were among the first to be issued the new passports. OFWs and senior citizens were also prioritized.
but next month (september 17, to be precise), we "regular" pinoy travelers can now apply for the new passports! :) so if you're dying to have your new passport, you better have a new passport photo taken, this time with a royal blue background, as opposed to a white background. you will also need to show up at the dfa, because fingerprints will be taken. it takes 10 days for regular processing (P500), and five days for express processing (P750).
this machine-readable passport is still not the e-passport, though. that new, more modern one will come out middle of next year. (so what's the point of renewing your passport now, then?)
the new passport is souped up with features such as hidden images (of what? it wasn't clear. hope it's not porn), and additional 12 pages at the same cost of P500.
read the full story here, and here.
and even though they don't have any information about the new passport application, you can check out the department of foreign affairs, too.