Bonna Bee Bedia was the first to receive the new 10-year Philippine passport in Hong Kong. Photos: Philippine Consulate-Hong Kong, Wikimedia Commons, Exec8

The Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong has released its first 10-year passport to a Filipino working in the city.

On Monday, the consulate released a 10-year passport to Bona Bee Bedia, sunwebhk.com reported.

The new passports appear to be popular. Officials at the consulate said the extended validity of the passports had caused the average number of applicants to double. Previously they had about 350 applicants per month, but in January there were about 700.

The issuing of a passport at the consulate still costs HK$480 (US$61) and the requirements for renewal and application remain the same.

Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 10928, which extends the validity of the Philippine passport from five to 10 years.

But young people under 18, whose appearance can change significantly while they are growing, will still get passports that have validity for five years.

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced in October that passports with 10-year validity would start from January 1 this year.

Read: Filipino workers told bookings not needed for new passports

Read: New passport portal for first-time overseas workers

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