SENATOR Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th stressed that any national ID (identification) system should be used for government services and promote safety and not encourage discrimination.
He stressed these points following reports that some police officials and local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon wanted to issue IDs “only to Muslims.”
He also deplored the statement of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa “encouraging” the moves of some local officials to issue identification cards to Muslims in their areas to help them identify individuals linked to terrorist groups.
“Singling Muslims out, giving them an ID and branding them as a potential threat will not make our communities safer. It will only sow animosity,” Aquino said in a statement on Saturday.
He said the ID system should pave the way to more effective ways of delivering government services such as anti-poverty programs and other social services to improve the quality of life for all.
“Let’s not allow it to be used as a tool for discrimination,” said Aquino, who reiterated the need for Congress to pass a law implementing a national ID system.
He filed Senate Bill 917 or the Filipino Identification System Act, which would establish a unified identification system to be used as sole required identification in any government transaction. The ID system will be implemented by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Aquino also filed the Anti-Discrimination Act or Senate Bill 683 to prohibit and penalize discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, ethnicity, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, civil status and HIV (human immuno virus) status.