A matter of IDs PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 April 2018 12:07

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

There is talk about enacting a law for the Philippines which will call for a national ID system. This is an idea which is not without some level of controversy and some of the objections to the idea is a fear of our going into the beginning of an Orwellian society, Big Brother and all that.  On the other hand it should ease things a little bit for many  transactions which usually require at least 2 government-issued ID cards.

Recently I had to claim a check from a government office and of course I was required to present two of the right kind of IDs. I presented my SSS card and my passport. The first was okay but my passport was not accepted and the reason given was that the passport was expired. I have kept a passport for many years from the first time I was issued one 60 years ago when I first left the country to study in the US. The latest passport expired in September 2017. I asked why it was not acceptable and the lady at the window politely said  because  it was already  expired. I said “ I cannot use it to travel outside the country but surely it still identifies me as the person I claim to be – it has my photo, my name and my signature.”  She said she was sorry but that was the rule.

Thinking about this even now disturbs  my sense of logic. What is a passport after all but a document  attesting  that the person in the photograph with the given name is a citizen of the country and has permission to travel outside the country.  For me the validity of the passport has to do with my use of it as a travel document. Even when the passport has expired the information about me that the passport  contains remains the same.   I don’t cease to be  the person in the photograph with the name that identifies this person – just because the passport has expired. I do not become another person with the passing of a given date. The expired passport then continues to be a document that identifies me.  But it seems my understanding of this matter is not acceptable to the government. Perhaps my logic is not as it should be.

I am told that an expired driver’s license is not acceptable as an ID either. And my logic questions this in the same way.

It was a good thing that I had with me my senior citizen’s ID that was issued to me by the city. I did not want to aggravate the polite lady at the window but I could have told her how I got this particular ID.