With the advent of the election season, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today reminded local government units that a Voter’s Identification (ID) card should not be a requisite to avail of essential services from local government units (LGUs), such as medical services and financial assistance, nor is it needed to register for the vaccination program.
"Inuulit po namin ----hindi po dapat hinahanapan ng Voter’s ID ang ating mga kababayan para makakuha at mapakinabangan ang serbisyo at paglilingkod mula sa mga pamahalaang lokal. It is and will never be a requirement set by the national government nor the DILG,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
Malaya said that LGUs should not single out the Voter's ID as a specific requirement from citizens to get vaccinated or to access and take advantage of the LGU programs and services intended for the benefit of the people.
He said that aside from the voter's ID, there are other government IDs that may be presented by the citizens as proof of identity or that they are residents of the LGU.
He said that in a usual transaction, especially in times when beneficiaries are requested to provide proof of identity, they are given options of what ID to present which can range from the Philippine Passport, employment ID, and PhilHealth ID, among others, depending on their purpose.
"Having no voter's ID does not make one a second-class citizen. We should never discriminate against those who cannot present their voter's ID nor deprive them of the essential services that they deserve," he stressed.
He further said that LGUs should bear in mind that "it is the people's money in the form of taxes that they are using to deliver such services. It is therefore rightful to give back to the people and serve them regardless if they are registered voters of the locality or not," he said.
The DILG issued the reminder after receiving reports from the field that some LGUs are requiring the presentation of the Voter's ID before they can access government services.
In the event that an indigent individual does not have any proof of identity, Malaya said, he can coordinate with the barangay to ask for a Barangay Certification stating his identity and that he is a legitimate resident of the barangay. “Kung wala talagang maipakita ang tao ay matutulungan siya ng barangay na kumuha ng Barangay Certificate.”
He also continued to remind LGUs to stop politicizing the basic services intended for the people, especially that the filing for candidacy is just around the corner, and halt requiring citizens to present their Voter’s ID “just to take advantage of services that are intended for them [citizens].”
Malaya asked the public to report any LGU that is requiring a voter’s ID before they may avail of vaccination or other LGU service to the nearest DILG field office.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año earlier said that the DILG will not hesitate to file charges against LGUs and barangay officials alike politicizing the delivery of basic services at this time of national calamity if warranted by evidence.
Early on the start of the pandemic, Año aired the same sentiments warning all LGUs about injecting politics in the distribution of relief goods to the poorest of the poor at the time of national health emergency brought about by COVID-19.