Chiz bats for cedula abolition PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 July 2013 13:55

Senator Chiz Escudero is pushing for the scrapping of the cedula saying it has long lost its significance and value in the present age.

Escudero filed Senate Bill Number 1082 (S.B.N. 1082) abolishing the use of cedula or the community tax certificate as a form of identification. The cedula is required when, as among others, one acknowledges a document before a notary public, takes an oath of office or is appointed to a government position.

The senator said the cedula is already useless to people of today as several other regular proof of identifications are already available and are more competent evidence of identity such as passport, driver’s license and other government-issued identification cards.

“The cedula now proves to be an unnecessary burden imposed on our people who are required to present it when doing public transactions. It was deemed useless by our forebears during the colonial times, it is more so today”.

The cedula was first implemented as a 19th century tax reform in the Philippines during the Spanish rule. After the tribute system or head tax to Spain was abolished, the cedula was issued to all Filipinos upon payment of a residence tax.  In 1896, katipuneros led by Andres Bonifacio tore up their cedulas in defiance of Spanish rule in Balintawak. It was what is now known as the Cry of Pugad Lawin that signaled the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.

At the same time, the bill seeks to repeal the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, giving powers to local government units to impose residence tax. The cedula serves as proof of one’s payment of community tax.

“Abolishing the cedula practice is also like scrapping a relic of our colonial past. Yes, we must always look back at our past to know where we are going, but the cedula is a thing of the past that should already be buried for its obsolescence,” Escudero said.