Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands

A national ID system would eliminate need for Comelec registration

Posted by butalidnl on 4 November 2009

We have heard about the long lines and long waiting times for those who want to register for the coming elections. It seems that the Comelec personnel are overstretched, and the people are becoming impatient with them.

But this does not need to happen. The long lines etc are there because of the system of getting an ID for everything we do. Thus, we line up for a Comelec ID, and before that, there was the GSIS/SSS ID, and other IDs – so much so, that a friend of mine was surprised that I didn’t have a spare ID photo with me, since this could be quite handy what with the various ID needs there are in the Philippines.

My experience here in the Netherlands is different.  Whenever we move to a new city, we register with the Civil Registry.  With this, we are able to get our national ID.  During elections, we just get a paper that says where and when we should show up to vote. No lining up for an ID.

The national ID and registration is year round, and thus there is no rush to register at a given time. After all, the national ID is valid for 5 years. The national ID is also handy when one goes abroad, since it is accepted by other EU countries. Thus, it serves as a sort of passport for most of people’s travels. I have applied for a separate passport, though, because the Philippines does not accept our national ID as a valid travel document.

It may be a good idea to look into having a national ID system, if only to lessen our having to line up for all kinds of IDs.


One Response to “A national ID system would eliminate need for Comelec registration”

  1. A national ID will only increase the power of the Federal Government. The European Union is slowly becoming a nation state. With the centralization of foreign countries under one government, it is easy to instate an international ID. Just because that makes things convenient for the voter/ID holders in Europe, does not mean it should be practiced widely. In fact, it should be abolished immediately.

    The more power that the EU has, the less power each individual country will have. If the trend remains that way, the whole of Europe will be owned by one set of laws; completely ignoring the cultural and regional boundaries that have already been created.

    I’m sorry to hear about your angst with your national voting policy. I don’t know an awful lot about it. But I can assure you that you would be better off without a national ID.

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