Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cedula - para que?

I only learned this week that every barangay treasurer is authorized to issue a cedula to anyone who walks in and is willing to pay for one.

I had tried getting one from our barangay two days ago, only to learn that it had to be issued by the treasurer and s/he was out for a meeting. One of the guys there advised me to try at any of the nearby barangays, so I did. Drove a couple of blocks south and asked the first tricycle driver I saw for directions to their barangay hall. He was really helpful (and accurate too).

Walked in the barangay office and got a cedula for myself (and two other people in the family) in less than ten minutes. I was so happy because I hadn't realized it would be that easy to get this requirement out of the way.

* * *

Now that I've got fresh, first-hand experience on just how easy it is to get a cedula, I can't help but wonder why we even have such a thing.

It can't possibly be a valid form of identification because they only ask you to fill up a slip of paper with the relevant information, and they copy your data as-is onto the cedula form. They don't ask for a photo ID, or any proof that you're declaring the correct address, birthday, or income.

The barangay treasurer who gave me my cedula the other day had certainly never met me before; I had walked in off the street and I actually live in another barangay, which would have been apparent to her since she copied down my address.

If it's that easy to get a cedula, and there are no safeguards for the correctness of the information on it, why are we even required to have one for contracts and agreements?

Other than to generate extra income for the city and barangay governments, I can't imagine what the point would be.