Filipinos, including migrants and workers, aged 14 and above in the Netherlands will be required to carry valid identity document at all times, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said today.

Citing a note from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said the new requirement is a security measure in line with the Dutch government’s action to further enhance safety in that country.

The note specified that starting January 1, 2005, the Netherlands would require everybody aged 14 and above to carry, at all times, a valid identity document, e.g., a Ministry of Foreign Affairs ID, valid passport, valid Dutch residence permit and valid Dutch or European Union/European Economic Area driving license. The identification document should be presented to police officials or other law enforcement authorities if these officials ask or request for them.

All other documents and cards such as public transport cards, moped license, student card, senior citizen card, Id-cards issued by the employer, etc., cannot be used for identification.

The measure also stated that police and other law enforcement authorities can only request citizens and other individuals in the Netherlands to present an identity document within the context of their duties. Complaints about improper treatment by the police can be lodged with the regional police corps, it added.

Sto. Tomas said Filipino nationals traveling to that country, including tourists, businessmen, workers or migrants should be aware of the new measure.

She said the Netherlands has traditionally been reticent about imposing obligatory identification. However, security needs have led the government to review its position.

Sto. Tomas said the Dutch government first introduced the obligatory identification in 1994, but only in a limited number of situations. Today, a new measure has been implemented that would apply to all situations.

The diplomatic missions, consular posts and international organizations were reminded that since 1994, obligatory identification exists in specific situations, for example, when opening a bank account, when changing/entering employment, when drawing up deeds before a notary public, or when caught using public transport without paying the operator. The introduction of the new general obligation does not change the obligatory identification required of foreigners in the Netherlands, Sto. Tomas said.

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