Presidential Decree No. 278, s. 1973




WHEREAS, there is a pressing need for the government to establish a system of positive identification of all Filipino citizens and foreign nationals in the Philippines, a system essential to insuring national security and affording convenience in the transaction of official business with government and private offices and agencies;

WHEREAS, the various identification systems currently in existence are generally agency-oriented, specific in purpose and non- complementary:

WHEREAS, among the objectives of such a National Reference Card System would be the replacement of all existing identification systems currently prescribed by government agencies to afford convenience to the general public.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitutions as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, Proclamation No. 1104 dated January 17, 1972, and General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, in order to achieve the aforesaid objectives, do hereby decree that:

1. All citizens of the Republic of the Philippines shall be assigned a Reference Number and issued a National Reference Card in a manner prescribed by the National Registration Coordinating Committee:

2. Citizens or nationals of foreign countries resident in the Philippines shall likewise be assigned a Reference Number and issued a National Reference Card in the manner prescribed by the National Registration Coordinating Committee:

3. The National Reference Card shall serve as the official identification of the person to whom it is issued;

4. The penalty of imprisonment from five to ten years shall be imposed upon and offender found guilty of any of the following acts or omissions:

(a) The willful submission of or causing to be submitted a fictitious name and other false data in the application form for a National Reference Card by any person;

(b) The unauthorized printing, preparation or issuance of a National Reference Card by any person;

(c) Willful falsification, mutilation, alteration of or tampering with a National Reference Card by any person;

(d) The use of unauthorized possession of a National Reference Card by any person other than the one to whom it was issued or the possession of a fake, falsified or altered National Reference Card; and

(e) Willful failure to apply for and secure National Reference Card as prescribed by the National Registration Coordinating Committee.

5. There is hereby created a National Registration Coordinating Committee composed of the following or their respective representatives;

The Secretary Department of Local Governments and Community Development Chairman
The Secretary Department of National Defense Co-Chairman
The Secretary Department of Education and Culture Member
The Chairman Commission on Election Member
The Director Bureau of the Census and Statistics Member
The Commissioner Bureau of Internal Revenue Member
The Commissioner Commission on Immigration and Deportation Member
The ManagingDirectorNationalComputerCenter Member

6. The National Registration Coordinating Committee is hereby designed and authorized to prescribed rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Decree.

7. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, rules or regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this decree are hereby repealed and/or modified accordingly.

Done in the City of Manila this 24th day of August in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.


By the President:

Assistant Executive Secretary

Source: Malacañang Records Office