National ID : what it means to you

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines— The Senate of the Philippines has approved on third and final reading the Senate Bill No. 1738, a bill that will create the country’s national identification system.

Voting 17-2, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel announced the approval of the bill also known An Act Establishing the Philippine Identification System.

The ID will be similar to Japan’s national ID which would contain a unique Common Reference Number (CRN) that will be given to all Filipinos.

It will be a unified ID for every Filipino and the resident aliens, which can be used in all government and bank transactions, which means convenience to any holder in availing public services.

The ID will contain the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status,
  • signature and facial image
  • Philhealth No., SSS, GSIS number, Pag-ibig membership no
  • Mobile no., and email address (OPTIONAL)

The Biometric feature includes

  • all set of fingerprints;
  • ,Iris scan;
  • identification features (mole, or scar).

To realize the plan, a budget of P25-billion is needed to cover the P220 per ID for 114-million population. The Congress needs to appropriate said amount for its implementation.

Senator Ralph Recto said the ID costs “would not be too much” it will be safe and secured, he considered the piece as a national treasure.

But he stressed “During the phase and even after, the failure to present the national ID will never a ground for a denial or forfeiture  of government services.”

Senator Ping Lacson
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Sen. Lacson delivers the sponsorship speech for the proposed Philippine ID System (National ID) Act. Photo Courtesy : Sen. Lacson (FB)

Senator Panfilo Lacson, one of the authors of the Bill emphasized that the Philippie Statistics Authority (PSA) will have a storage of the information which will be generated during the registration.

“The PSA has the right to access the information,” Lacson emphasized.

Can the a person’s information be made public or shared ?

Lacson said “No”, as he explained only the registered person can request the PSA to provide him the information, but, it will be subject to the conditions of the agency.

But, should the information be deemed necessary, a competent court can ask the PSA to provide them the necessary information.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said he is hoping that the national ID system would be up and running by October.

Diokno said About P2 billion was allocated for the ID system in 2018. It will be established by the PSA with the help of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, which will also oversee the operation and maintenance of the system.

Analee Alvarez, 24, a resident of Davao City says the bill is a welcome development. She revealed until now, she does not have a valid ID not even a school because she never gone to school and when martial law was declared in Mindanao, she asked for a barangay certificate and that’s the only government contained in her wallet.

“Nindot nang naay ID kay Martial Law raba sa Mindanao, naa na koy ikapakita nga ID, kay karon halos di ko mogawas kay kalit kalit raba ang checkpopint unya barangay certificate ra ni akong dala (It will be good to have a national ID, because it is martial law in Mindanao, I can have an ID to show, as it is now, I do not frequently go out because the checkpoint are at random and I only have barangay certificate to show).

But the militant groups view the proposed ID system as government’s way of profiling individuals and spying on their personal data.

To seal the Bill, a bicameral commitee is expected to discuss the issue and possible introduce amendment before it will become final.

Of the 19 senators present, only Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontevirus voted on the negative.-Editha Z. Caduaya/

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