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Universal identification

By: Erik Espina

ACCORDING to ‘Privacy International’, about 100 countries have, in one form or another, approved legislation making ‘identity cards’ compulsory for their respective citizens. Every country adopted unique approaches to the creation of what tantamount to a ‘national identification’, on ages, what defined circumstances should the card be presented, designated enforcement agency authorized by law for this purpose, penalties, or possible detention until identity is proven by other official documents, and fines for non-carrying of the national card.

Since 1949, Hong Kong granted the police absolute right to require every person 15 and above, in public premises, to produce the HKID. A 15 to17 year-old may need a card to prove he/she is under 18 years old, when the law becomes compulsory. In Israel, the ‘Teudat Zehut’ is first issued at age 16 and mandatory by 18. Malaysia a ‘My Kad’ by 12 and is updated at 18 years of age and must be carried all times. Singapore has a Nat’l Registration ID Card which is not compulsory, hence not compelled by law to show the cards to police officers. However, nationals find it difficult to transact with government without the ID, vote, etc.

In South Korea, mandatory at 17 years old and is necessary for opening bank & website accounts etc. Indonesia has ‘Kartu Tandu Penduduk’ where possession is required. Taiwan – compulsory at 14 years old. In the Philippines, the national ID mainly faces hurdles from privacy issues, “big-brother abuse”, the “leftist” shrill, and residual recollections of martial law. The benefits for a Phil.

Universal Identification (PUIDe, pronounced “pwede” in the vernacular) however out-weigh perceived fears. PUIDe must bear: 1) Lifetime E-Number with SSS No., GSIS, Phil. Health, Passport, Driver’s license, TIN, PSA birth certificate, Res. Certificate, NBI clearance, Sr. Citizens, Student Discount, Voter’s card with respective validity dates; 2) Micro-chip technology; 3) Bangko Sentral printing, to prevent anomaly. This, not to mention, developing realities in combating actual national security threats.