By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino expressed concern over the low ranking
of Philippine passports in the 2021 Henley Passport Index.
Tolentino aired his concern during the hearing of the Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Koko Pimentel, saying that
the country’s No. 77 ranking should not be taken lightly by the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“It is indicative not just of the survey done, but the power of our
passport,” Tolentino said.
“The passport is the badge of citizenship and you should be proud of
that. Ngayon, kung downgraded ang passport natin, medyo downgraded ang
pagtanggap sa atin ng host country,” he added.
In the 2021 Henley Passport Index, the Philippine passport is ranked
77th most powerful passport in the world, meaning it can be used
visa-free in 66 destinations and with visas in 160 destinations.
The country is tied with Cape Verde Islands and the Dominican Republic in
the latest passport ranking.
The country’s ranking released by London-based research firm Henley &
Partners were three spots lower from last year. The country also
ranked 77th in 2019.
Also, Tolentino called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to tap the
help of the Philippine Postal Service when it comes to passport
The Senator said the DFA should consider it since the practice is
already being implemented in the United States and in the European
For his part, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asks DFA to maximize the use
of online transaction, underscoring that technology has no limit and
that it should be applied to passport renewal for the convenience of
everyone, especially the senior citizens.
The DFA, through Office of Consular Affairs Executive Director Maria
Alnee Gamble said it would consider Tolentino’s suggestion. (ai/mtvn)