National ID is good for PH
Raul J. Palabrica wrote about the passage of the national ID system after many years since it was first proposed during former president Fidel Ramos’ time (“Baseless fears on a national ID,” 4/2/18).
It seems like a good idea, and from this Australian’s perspective, a most timely one. During Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s tenure, he proposed such a system, but the voters rejected it out of privacy fears. In these times of terrorism and identity theft, a national ID system such as the one passed here is not only a good idea, but in my humble opinion, doesn’t go far enough.
Because of this country’s porous borders and levels of corruption, a national ID card must remove any fig leaf of “privacy” to enable those who are sworn to protect and defend the citizenry to know just who everyone is throughout the country.
Drones and lasers can physically secure the whole coastline, but a credible tamper-proof ID card would reveal who is who in the whole land, especially with the facial recognition technology available today.
In China today, there is a system of assigning a number to everyone to establish their creditworthiness. Some commented that it is a method of control, but that seems quite a negative slant. To establish a person’s credit rating is actually to empower the person; it indicates that such person can be trusted to repay their loans on time and so can be relied on with other matters.
Maybe that’s what the Philippines needs: a system that can establish every person’s credit rating so they have some measure of financial security in their lives. It’s not lack of money that keeps poor people poor, after all, but lack of a credit rating. If financial institutions could be satisfied that a person was honest and reliable and capable of repaying a loan, poverty might take on a different meaning.
We need an ID system that will make life easier all around, cut the delays, red tape, and corruption, empower the poor, and separate the wolves from the sheep.
There is no need to remind you that the Marawi siege started just a year ago; it came out of the blue and caused immense suffering and damage and will take years to rebuild. A national ID system that has credibility will go some way to securing our common future.
WALTER P KOMARNICKI, [email protected]
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