Sulu launches citizen ID system

A press statement from the Sulu Media Desk said the ID card system is aimed at “curbing crimes and deterring terrorism” and serves as a “database for local census.”

The ID card’s signatory, however, is the commanding officer of  the 3rd Marine Brigade, Col. Natalio C. Ecarma. The seal of the Philippine Marine Corps is on the upper right, the seal of the local government of Patikul is on the upper left.

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan said the provincial ID system was launched in Patikul, whose population is “more than 50,000” but “we are going to issue identification cards in all towns and we have the support of the local government officials and the citizens themselves.”

Tan explained their ID system is not part of the proposed national ID system. "This is our initiative and while politicians and other groups in Manila argue about the national ID system, my province is already implementing our own citizen identification card system. This will also establish an accurate census in Sulu," he said.

He said the provincial government shouldered the expenses for the ID system.

Sulu has 19 towns and a total population of at least 600,000.

Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini is the holder of card number 0001. The ID’s front, aside from the local government’s seal and the Marine Corps’ seal, shows the photograph of the bearer, the name, address, age, sex, civil status, ID number, the card owner’s name and signature and Ecarma’s signature.

The card is plastic, similar to ATM or credit cards.

At the back of the ID is a space for thumbmark, blood type, date of birth, place of birth and persons to contact in emergencies.

"The people are really very supportive of the ID system and that's why we have Patikul as model for this citizen identification card system in cooperation with the Sulu provincial government, the military and police authorities and the national census (office)," Hayudini was quoted by the Sulu Media Desk as saying.

"The identification card system in Sulu province is a collaborative effort between local governments, the Armed Forces (of the Philippines), the Philippine National Police and other stake holders of peace and development in the province,” Hayudini said.

"The ID system will deter crimes and prevent terrorism because it would be easy to identify those who are not from Sulu and this will protect the citizens. It will also be beneficial for business and other transactions," he said. (MindaNews)