A senator clarified that the national ID system should be used for government services and to promote safety, not to encourage discrimination, following reports that local government units (LGUs) wish to issue IDs only to Muslims.
Sen. Bam Aquino filed Senate Bill 917 or the Filipino Identification System Act, which seeks to establish a unified identification system that will be used as sole required identification in any government transaction. The ID system will be implemented by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
“This 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,” said Sen. Bam. “Let’s not allow it to be used as a tool for discrimination.”
“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,” stressed Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam made the pronouncement after the DILG and police chief De La Rosa released statements 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.
“Gamitin natin ng tama ang ID system, para protektahan at bigyan ng mga benepisyo ang Pilipino. Huwag natin gamitin para mang-api ng mga sektor,” Sen. Bam stressed.
Sen. Bam also filed the Anti-Discrimination Act or Senate Bill No. 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 status.