IDs and right to travel*

A LOT of Filipinos find it difficult to secure identification cards (IDs), one of the requirements in acquiring a passport. This, in effect, curtails the person’s right to travel.

Aside from the standard procedure of appearing personally at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at a confirmed date and time of appointment scheduled through the department’s website, an adult applicant is required to present his birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office or NSO), and one ID card.

The only IDs accepted are the Digitized SSS Unified Multipurpose (UM) ID, GSIS Unified Multipurpose (UM) ID, Voter’s ID, Driver’s License, Senior Citizen ID, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) ID, School ID for Student applicants, Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) License, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA ID) or iDOLE Card, Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms License, and Digitized Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ID.

Just imagine a situation wherein an applicant’s Voter’s ID bears his not-so-clear photo because Commission on Elections (Comelec) local offices have poor printing machines. He is then required to go to the Comelec’s main office in Intramuros, Manila to get a certification with a clear photo.

In other words, applicants are being made to suffer because of government’s inadequacies or its failure to provide quality printing machines in local offices.

How about those applicants who have never worked at all? What form of identification can they present except their birth certificates?

A lawyer friend believes that genuine birth certificates should be enough.

What say you?

*              *              *

Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed Senate Bill 2026 seeking to lower the age of criminal liability from the current 15 to 13 years old.

He cited several viral videos of minors committing crimes as well as a study by the Child Rights International Network which states that other countries have lower age of criminal liability while some federal states in the United States have set none, which would allow a child to be sentenced to criminal liabilities at any age.

He also proposed to lower the age of liability to “above nine years old” where children as young as 10 years old could already be detained in youth care facilities.

Firing Line is for the protection of our youth. If putting them in youth care centers where they can be disciplined and taught the proper ways to function as model citizens in society, then so be it rather than be used and abused by drug pushers and syndicates.

*              *              *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/



*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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