Oversight: merely going through the motions ?


It was one public hearing that did not hap-pen quite often in Dumaguete city since  it was the whole oversight committee of the House of Representatives tackling the issue of the controversial National ID system in the Philippines.

This was already signed into law when the public hearing was  held here at the Bethel Guest House last Tuesday . It was presided by no less than the speaker of the House of Representatives, the former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and committee chairman and members.

What Congress tackled was the implementing rules and regulations IRR which are saliently discussed elsewhere in this issue, particularly our editorial today.

In all fairness, we appreciate the House Committee and Speaker Arroyo in choosing Dumaguete as the venue of the congressional public hearing.

This is the comment of some stakeholders why they held the public hearing here:

First, Dumaguete’s high rate of literacy being a university town enabled most people here to appreciate the significance of this democratic process, where laws are first heard before it is being implemented.

Second, the issue of the national ID system is quite relevant in this community since this is an international community where thousands of foreigners visit, live, and retire. It is important that people have a definite sense of identity not only in transacting with government, but in their sense of community living in a harmonious and peaceful manner.

Nobody is perfect, there are still irritants in this national ID SYSTEM that is why the law does  not make it mandatory. In short, a national Identification card  for oneself ensures speedy transaction with government in all its services, without it, one will have to fall in line as his identity is verified prior to making the transaction which can be time consuming, if not inconvenient.