Costly Postal ID

By: NESTOR B. RAMIREZ July 11,2017 - 10:47 PM

RAMIREZ

In this day and age, anything could be counterfeited from news and information, rice grains, apparel, gadgets and even proof of one’s identification.

This constrained government agencies and private companies to demand presentation of two or more government-issued IDs before one is allowed to transact with them to protect themselves and the public from fraud.

Understandably, this is part of the process of verification to ensure that they are transacting with the right person.

However, the problem is on the difficulty that ordinary citizens, especially those unemployed, have to endure in spending time and resources to secure for themselves a legitimate government-issued ID.

The unemployed who don’t have a Social Security number only have the Postal ID as a remedy to obtaining a government-issued ID, but the cost of getting one is very prohibitive for an ordinary person.

In its social media advertisement, the Philippine Postal Corp. is charging P504 for the issuance of a Postal ID, an amount that is barely affordable for ordinary Filipinos.

Though acquiring a Postal ID is relatively less complicated, it comes with a three-year validity, which means the owner will have to renew and pay again to continually carry it as proof of identity after its expiration.

This is bothersome for those who do not frequently transact with government agencies or banks but still need to carry a valid government-issued ID in case their identity would be questioned — perhaps at a checkpoint.

The Comelec or Voter ID could have been the most accessible government-issued identification card, but God knows how inefficient this government agency is in producing and distributing the ID to the voters.

I have been a registered voter for more than 20 years, and ever since, I was unable to secure a Comelec ID because every time I made a follow-up I am always told that it has not yet arrived.

In a social media post from a good friend, Bimbo Plasus said he was able to acquire a PhilHealth ID card in less than two minutes from a government center situated in a local mall.

I can attest to the veracity of the post of Mr. Plasus because I availed of the services myself. But based on what I know and by personal experience, the PhilHealth ID is not honored as a primary ID by government agencies and banks.

Government agencies and banks require an ATM-type ID as valid proof of identification and not the cardboard type where the owner still had to paste the photo and have it laminated by himself elsewhere.

The issuance of a National ID for all Filipinos is again being talked about, but the proposal encountered opposition from some quarters due to apprehension that it will be used by the government to monitor enemies of the state.

In its latest proposal, the government will use the National ID to ensure effective implementation of tax safety nets for the poorest families under the tax reform bill.

Based on the pronouncement from the Department of Finance, the proposed National ID will contain biometrics data along with information to determine if a person can enjoy subsidies, discounts and tax exemption under the law as well as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Act.

Included are discounts for medicine, commuting, health care, education and other applicable benefits.

If this is where the government is heading in its effort to implement a National ID system, all the more reason why they should make it accessible and cheaper to the public.

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