Your ID as a powerful tool

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 05:34 AM December 01, 2018

Illustration by Steph Bravo

(Last of two parts)

An identification card is one of the most basic requirements in practically any transaction you’ll encounter.


Last week’s column listed some of the most commonly accepted IDs and the agencies where you can get them. In case you are required to present other IDs, there are other proofs of identification that you can present to your banks when, for instance, you want to avail of a home loan or if you want to open a deposit account.

Again, different companies have varying criteria as to which IDs can be considered valid. Some, however, are clearly more considerate than others. In the case of local banking giant Metrobank, it has an exhaustive list of IDs it considers as valid and acceptable.


Here are some of them.

Senior Citizen Card

This is proof that you have reached the wise age of 60, and therefore eligible to a host of benefits that include a 20 percent discount and value added tax (VAT) exemptions on food, medicines, public transport and professional fees, among others, as mandated under the law.

Beyond proof that you’re a senior citizen, this ID is also widely accepted if you’re going to apply for other IDs such as a passport. The great thing about this, is that it’s easy to secure for as long as you have your birth certificate and photo. Just go to the Office of the Senior Citizens Affair in your city or municipal hall and provide your details.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID

OWWA, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, is mandated to promote and protect the welfare of overseas Filipino workers and their families in all three stages of migration: pre-departure, on-site and upon arrival.

Similarly, an array of benefits awaits OFWs who secure membership, including legal assistance, training, as well as death, disability and dismemberment, and burial benefits. Scholarship, education, livelihood assistance, repatriation and reintegration programs are likewise offered by OWWA.


To be a member and secure an OWWA ID, one needs to pay a $25 membership contribution and either enroll upon processing of contract at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or register voluntarily at at job sites overseas.

Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) ID

It’s become easier now to secure an OFW ID as you can readily apply online. Just go here: and follow the instructions. All it takes are three easy steps. You can even select the location where you want to pick up your OFW ID, which is free.

With this ID, OFWs won’t need to line up in transacting with agencies for their overseas employment as they can now access government services online.

Seaman’s book

This is one of the most important documents that a seafarer should have to be able to board any local or international ships. It contains personal information and the so-called “seagoing service information.”

It’s fairly easy to secure a Seaman’s book. One just needs to set an appointment through the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) online system. You can also check this website: for a step-by-step guide in getting your Seaman’s book.

All seafarers with appointment schedules must however be physically present at the Marina on the specified date and time for image capturing.

Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) or Immigrant Certificate of Registration (ICR)

An ACR I-Card, which can be secured from the Bureau of Immigration. is a microchip-based, credit card-sized ID issued to all registered aliens or foreign nationals under immigrant and non-immigrant visas and whose stay in the Philippines has exceeded 59 days. It also has an embedded computer chip with biometric security features capable of data management and can be updated electronically.

Aliens who are granted permanent residency status (quota or non-quota immigrants) are likewise required to secure from the BI an Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR).

Government office ID or government-owned and -controlled corporations

This refers to IDs issued by any state-run departments, bureaus, institutions and attached agencies. IDs issued by any of the more than 200 GOCCs in the country are qualified as such.

ID from the National Council on Disability Affairs

The NCDA issues the Person With Disability (PWD) ID to those with permanent disabilities due to any one or more of the following conditions: psychosocial, chronic illness, learning, mental, visual, orthopedic, speech and hearing conditions.

More than just a proof of identification, this ID shall also be the basis for the provision of certain special privileges, discounts and benefits to bonafide PWDs in the Philippines in accordance with the law.

One can apply manually at any PWD Registration Center nearest you; use the online registration system; or submit your application form to the city or municipal mayor, or barangay captain, who shall verify the validity of the documents you submitted.

There are several more IDs that are accepted by Metrobank including a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) certification; ID issued by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; a company ID issued by private entities or institutions registered with or supervised/regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Insurance Commission; a photo-bearing ID signed by the principal or head of school for student beneficiaries of remittances/fund transfers and who are not yet of voting age; as well as professional identification cards.

As with anything, the key to a smart and practical decision is knowledge, which you can obtain via thorough research. Fortunately today, everything has been made easier because of the internet, which allows you to browse for information across websites and news platforms.

If you’re going into something as huge as buying a home, you should be able, at the very least, get your basic details right. Couple that with a trusted banking partner like Metrobank, and you’re definitely good to go.


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