“Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference

   “Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System” is this possible? Is this kind of system applicable in our country? in our government? Without being abused by those who are in the position? I don’t think so. Why did I come up with this kind of answer? For only one simple reason. And that is because, our government cannot handle changes. All our politicians always tell us that we need change, we need change so we could have a better lives, we need change for the better future, not only for you but also for the next generations. Do you really actually believed that there will be change if this Administrative Order (A.O) No. 308 has been implemented? How could change be possible if such act is unconstitutional from the first place and it intrudes one of the most sensitive and important rights of every human being which is our right to privacy, our right to be left alone. The aforementioned A.O not only violates our right to Privacy but it also violates the distribution of powers delegated to the 3 branches of government.

 

            Lets us discuss what does this A.O No. 308, Administrative Order No. 308 was implemented by the former President of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos who holds the power as the Head of the State in the Executive Branch of the Government. What does the Executive Branch of the Government and the other branches and their separation of powers for? For all we know, the executive branch is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state and to executes the laws which headed by the President who is elected by a direct vote of the people of the Philippines and as the President or the head of the state he represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are “enforced” by the officials and employees of his department. He  has control over the executive department, bureaus and offices and further more the President also has the duty of supervising the enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public order in relation thereof he is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively while ;

 

            Legislative Branch, which has the authority to make, alter or repeal laws, which the Congress hold this authority or power, Congress is vested with this tremendous power to appropriately carries with It the power to specify the amount that may be spent and the purpose for which it may be spent. Legislative Branch comprises the house of the Senate which composes twenty-four (24) Senators and also directly vote by the people of the Philippines like the President and the second house is the House of the Representatives, which on the other hand, is composed of not more than two hundred and fifty (250) members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who are elected from legislative districts among the provinces, cities and the Metropolitan Manila area, and those who are elected through a part-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organization and;

 

            The Judiciary which has the Judicial Power and vested in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. The Judiciary has the power to determine the proper allocation of power between the branches of government. When the Judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments, it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution. In simplified meaning, the Judiciary may not have the power of the executive like a sword in a battle field nor have the power of the Legislative, the power of the pursed or allocate budget for their warriors but has has the power to interpret the law or the Constitution, and the unerring lessons of history that Power can make a difference for good.

 

            Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now in a battle were our rights as the citizens of our country is being violated and being abused by those people who has the power over us, those people we elect as our leader but yet becoming our enemy as they are destroying our nation by their own little ways in their corrupt practices and thinking that they can hold us by the power we gave them, in as much, this Administrative Order No. 308 which was implemented by the former President Fidel V. Ramos and petitioned by  Honorable Blas F. Ople, former Senator and declared null and void for being unconstitutional by the Supreme Court is one of many ways our leaders will destroy and intrudes our rights if allowed to be implemented in the present. Why? Because the power delegated in the executive branch headed by the President is clearly stated in our constitution that his power is to administer and execute law, to ensure the enforcement of the laws not to make laws, repeal or alter such matters, the act by the Former President only shows the usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, which he do not have. In order to establish or adopt the National Computerized Identification reference system requires a Legislative act which the Executive Branch  trying to overthrow by implementing this Administrative Order No. 308, it is usurpation of such power delegated to the Legislative therefore cannot permitted.

 

            And if implemented or adopt? Where will they get the funds to operate such system? Again it is usurpation of the exclusive right of the Congress to appropriate public funds for expenditure for their purpose. If we will let this Administrative Order No. 308 be adopted in our present time by our government through the President, it will only shows that we don’t need the three (3) branches of our government but instead we will only be needing the Executive Branch to Executive and hold all powers over the government, because of the fact that what the President wants even it violates rights and powers delegated by our constitution to the three branches of government it will be done as he says.

 

            Administrative Order No. 308 “Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System” is not just an Administrative Order the can be implemented for the purpose of establishing a system inside the government with their internal transaction, but a law! Which is not within the ambit power of the president to enact such law.

 

            And furthermore, if this Administrative Order will be implemented by the President, the balance of powers will be forever be destroyed, it will only give more power to the President to interfere were he wants to interfere. It is our concern as the citizen of the Philippine for the Executive Branch not to trespass on the lawmaking bodies to enact laws. Which, if this happens not only the powers delegated to the three branches of government will be at stake but also our most important right will be interfered with, which is our right to privacy, our right to be left alone our right that are protected by our laws and also our right to transact freely with the government, with their agencies, offices and bureau and acquire the services that we should received from them.

 

            Because Administrative Order No. 308 “Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System” specifically defines and stated in the first and second paragraph therein, that there is a need to provide Filipino citizens and foreign residents with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic services and social security and other government instrumentalities;

and, the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services, that without this Identification, we people and citizens of the Philippines cannot transact our business in our own government because of this National Computerized Identification Reference System. This is a violation of Right, our right to transact lawful business to our government, what about to those people who cannot avail such Identification or those who just want to protect their right of privacy.

            If this Administrative Order will be permitted not only the aforementioned problem will arise but also the bigger problem in one of our most protected right which is our right to privacy, in Ople vs. Torres case, an issue was raised in connection with the violation of our right of privacy  as stated in paragraph C, petitioner contends that:

C.      THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A.O. NO. 308 INSIDIOUSLY LAYS THE GROUNDWORK FOR A SYSTEM WHICH WILL VIOLATE THE BILL OF RIGHTS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION.”[2]

            Also in a case decided by the United State Supreme Court in Griswold vs. Connecticut, they gave more substance to the right of privacy when it ruled that the right has constitutional foundation. It held that there is a right of privacy which can be found within the penumbras of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments, viz;

“Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras formed by emanations from these guarantees that help give them life and substance. Various guarantees create zones of privacy. The right if association contained in the penumbra of the First Amendment is one, as we have seen. The Third Amendment in its prohibition against the quartering of soldiers  ‘in any house ‘ in time of peace without the consent of the owner is another facet of that privacy.  The Fourth Amendment explicitly affirms the ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizure. ‘The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination Clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not for him to surrender to his detriment. The Ninth Amendment provides: ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

            Administrative Order No. 308 does not define how does and how will such System will be operated and what are the main information to be input in the said Identification. The National Computerized Identification Reference System would be a great help to the public, only if it done correctly and according to our laws and also this Act must be regulated in the manner were no rights of the Filipino citizens will be affected by the implementation of such Administrative Order.

            Rights of Privacy are stated in the Bill of Rights of 1987 Constitution in;

section 1

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

section 2

The right of the pepole to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

section 3

  1. The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
  2. Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

 

SECTION 6

 

The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court.  Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

 

In Senate Economic Planning Office, were they asked the question, Do we need national Identification system? They have concluded that:

 

            Clearly, a proposed Id system has its share of advantages as well as disadvantages. However, as the paper has shown, it is not a panacea to the ills that hound the country. Efforts to curb criminality should still be focused on huge budgetary investments in the training. Values education and capacity-building of the police. This should be complemented by resolving the perennial problems in the other pillars of the justice system.

 

            Administrative efficiency or success in decreasing incidence of tax evasion and red tape on the other hand, can only be achieved if the government makes significant strides in instituting in the bureaucracy the central tenets of good governance: transparency, predictability, participation and accountability.

 

            The staggering cost is also a major concern not just for developing countries such as the Philippines but also for rich ones such as the United Stated and the United kingdom. A more realistic cost estimate is imperative if the government is bent on making the ID system work. It must be based on the system specification, the information and the level of technology of the proposed Id system.

 

            Ultimately, the viability of an ID system rests on a question that has hounded mankind since the time it founded the institution of government as the basis of social order: to what extent should a citizen allow the government to interfere with private affairs in exchange for his security.

 

            The aforementioned paper of the Senate Economic Planning Office only showed that this kind of system has pros and cons if implemented and there are many things that must be consider for this king of system to be effective.

 

            There issued and Problems that are need to be solve before the implementation of the said system because it will only cause chaos and imbalance in our government, and an Id system is not the only solution of the government to increase progress in the transaction of different agencies, but on the other hand what the government need is to allocate fund for the improvements of their personnel skill to transact and who acts in behalf of those agencies, offices bureaus concerned.

 

            Our Government is not yet ready for this kind of system, not only because of those people who intends to abuse this kind of system but also the people or the citizen of this country who do not have trust the government with their information which can be abuse by the government.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

The Adoption of National Computerized Identification Reference System is not yet applicable in the Philippines, for its ripeness is not yet resolve by the government. The intention may be good, but the safeguard of every right of the Filipino citizen is still in danger.

             

 

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human Institution which rejects progress is the cemetery- Harold Wilson

 

http://www.senate.gov.ph/publications/PI%202005-12%20-%20National%20Identification%20System%20-%20Do%20We%20Need%20One.pdf

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/jul1998/127685.htm

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1968/jan1968/gr_l-20387_1968.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarunwadhwa/2013/02/06/the-washington-post-got-it-wrong-we-dont-need-a-national-id-card/

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