TODAY, November 12, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) unveiled an “experimental” new identification (ID) card for Moros.

The Bureau of External Affairs (NCMF-BER) came up with the concept of the ID, which it hopes can be used officially across government agencies and private organizations, such as banks, etc.

Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr., director of BER, and the NCMF’s spokesman and media head, said on his Facebook page the office started issuing the ID on Monday on dry run.

director-malo.pngNCMF issuing new ID for Moros that contains tribal affiliation, among others. The commission rolled out the ID initially on November 12. (Photo: NCMF-BER). 

He said the commission issued the ID cards first to its officials and staff as the first clients to get the document. The ID is free of charge, he added.

“The entire issuance process lasted 30 minutes per person but (the speed) can change as the number of applicants increase during the next few weeks,” said Datu-Ramos.

With unique QR code for security

Each of the ID card, he pointed out, contains a unique QR code, a two-dimensional barcode showing the ID number of the holder once it is scanned.

He said that moving forward the office will embed other security features as fingerprints of the owner, or biometrics to thwart falsification.

It can be recalled that “enterprising” persons from the dark world of some Moros have been issuing counterfeit certificate of tribal membership (CTM) documents of which only the NCMF is legally authorized.

Moros, or the local Muslims of the Philippines, are required to secure a CTM for passport and visa application.

Datu-Ramos said earlier that he hoped the new ID card will “be used as a valid government ID (secondary) along with the CTM in all transactions, such as remittances, (passporting, hajj purposes, and bank services under the able leadership of Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan.”

“We highly encourage everyone to avail yourself of this service as soon as possible,” he added.

While the initial roll out of the new ID happened at the NCMF Central Office in Quezon City, the BER head said the commission is targeting early next year that regional offices of the office would be able to issue the ID cards.

NCMF UnionOfficers of the Union of NCMF Employees (UNE) pay a courtesy visit to NCMF-BER Director Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos (3rd, left). UNE is led by Chairperson Ismael Sarip (2nd, left) and President Dulcenda Lidasan (left) as they discussed issues concerning the Collective Negotiated Agreement (CNA) of the commission’s employees. With them are Elpidio A. Maramot (center), PSA-USE national president (Philippine Statistics Authority-Union of Statistics Employees, PSA-USE) and vice chairperson of the Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIUPS). Others in photo are NCMF staff. (Photo: NCMF-BER)

Initial roll out at Central Office

But for now only the Central Office is issuing the ID of which every applicant must present a birth certificate and proof that she or he is a Muslim Filipino, or a Balik Islam (convert or revert).

Datu-Ramos announced last week the plans for the issuance of the ID which contains every holder’s tribal affiliation.

“The objective of this project is to provide necessary identification papers for all Muslim Filipinos, which is especially useful for those who lack documentary evidence of their origins,” he said, adding the project’s “aim is to provide the documents for all, especially the indigents, which would mitigate the application process for those seeking employment, and eventually uplift the economic status of our brothers and sisters who were previously unable to provide identification papers to prospective employers.”

Meanwhile, he also revealed the newly-accredited Union of NCMF Employees (UNE) led by its chairperson, Ismael Sarip, and its president, Hadja Dulcenda Lidasan.

UNE, he said, is working on the Collective Negotiated Agreement (CNA) that may give employees a retroactive bonus if approved. (EKU)