Green, Maroon MRP passports valid only until 2015

James Ryan Jonas

If you still have not switched to the e-Passport, do so ASAP or face the risk of not being allowed entry or exit to/from any country in the world.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued an announcement to all Filipino holders of any non-machine readable passports to get the new e-Passport because old passports will be phased out completely and will be unusable starting November 24, 2015.

Old Passports to be phased out by 2015

Old Philippine passports that will be phased out include previously issued:

  • green passports;
  • maroon-colored machine-readable ready passport; and
  • maroon machine-readable passports with no biometric chip

These passports will no longer be recognized anywhere in the world and their validity cannot be extended anymore after October 31, 2015.
The Philippines’ e-Passport is in compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Dark Maroon e-Passport with biometric chip

All Filipino holders of expiring or expired old passports are required to transition to the dark maroon-colored e-Passport that contains a biometric chip.
“Those who fail to do so will likely encounter difficulty at immigration checks when traveling through any ports of entry around the world after October 2015,” the DFA said in its official statement.

How to check if you have a valid e-Passport

To check if you are already using a valid e-Passport, look for the microchip logo below the “Pasaporte” text in the cover of your passport. If your passport has the microchip logo (see sample), you are already using the e-Passport.
If you are using a maroon passport but its cover does not have the microchip logo, you’re most likely still using a machine-ready passport which will no longer be valid by 2015. You are encouraged to apply to get the new passport ASAP.

Biometric chip with personal information

e-Passports contain a microchip that stores biometric and basic personal information of the passport holder. These information can be easily read by special microchip readers in the immigration section of a country’s airport.
The microchip typically contains the primary photograph of the holder, a digitized secondary photo, an electronic print of the signature and fingerprints of the passport holder.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.