Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Extending the validity of Philippine passports is one of the major reforms of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, and the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has been preparing for a streamlined application process for Filipinos working in Malaysia.

Overseas Filipino workers will be able to apply for or renew their passports with 10 years’ validity, instead of five, and they will have less paperwork to fill in for extending their stay in the country starting from January 2018, China Press reported.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose told The Star that these new measures were part of the reforms by the Duterte administration.

Filipino nationals working in Sabah and Sarawak or other outer areas will now be able to process their applications online, instead of visiting the Kuala Lumpur embassy in person.

Regarding the Malaysian policy of directly hiring maids, Jose added that the Philippine government still preferred employment matters to be handled by agents.

As well, Manila will blacklist those with records of runaway or abused maids, or those who have not paid their salaries.

At present, there are 600,000 Filipinos living in Malaysia, with domestic workers totaling between 120,000 and 180,000, the ambassador said.