Are cedulas really useless?
For Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the community tax certificate has long lost its significance and value in the modern days.
In fact, Escudero is convinced the government should abolish the use of cedula as a form of identification in Senate Bill No. 1082.
“The cedula now proves to be an unnecessary burden imposed on our people who are required to present it when doing public transactions,” Escudero said.
“It was deemed useless by our forebears during the colonial times, it is more so today,” he added.
A cedula is required when a person acknowledges a document before a notary public, takes an oath of office or is appointed to a government position among others.
But Escudero argued that other proof of identifications such as passport, driver’s license, and other government-issued IDs practically render cedulas “useless.”
The veteran lawmaker's bill also seeks to repeal some provisions in the Local Government Code of 1991, which gave authority to local government units (LGUs) to impose residence 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,” Escudero explained.
“But the cedula is a thing of the past that should already be buried for its obsolescence” he noted.
Books about Philippine history said cedulas were implemented to reform the tax system in the country during the Spanish Colonial Period.
In 1896, national hero Andress Bonifacio led other katipuneros in tearing up their cedulas as a symbol of their defiance against the Spanish rule in Balintawak.
After the tribute system or head tax to Spain was abolished, the cedula was issued to all Filipinos upon payment of a residence tax.