Escudero seeks abolition of ‘cedula’

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Senator Francis Escudero. INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines— Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has filed a resolution abolishing the use of cedula or the community tax certificate, saying it has long lost its significance and value in the present age.

In filing Senate Bill 1082, Escudero pointed out that cedula has become useless today as several other regular proof of identifications such as passport, driver’s license and other government-issued identification cards, are already available and are more competent evidence of identity.

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 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,” Escudero said in a statement Wednesday.

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.

The bill also 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 added.

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