Recto fears lack of budget may derail national ID system rollout
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto fears that the implementation of the national ID system might be derailed by a lack of budget for 2020.
Recto disclosed Tuesday that zero funding was allocated for the project in the “programmed portion” of the proposed 2020 national budget.
“For 2020, there is zero funding for the project in the ‘programmed portion’ of the proposed national budget,” Recto said in a statement.
“What is provided is a P2.4 billion ‘unprogrammed appropriation,’ which, at best, is a tentative allocation dependent if new loans or revenues can be raised,” he added.
Should the P2.4 billion materialize, Recto said only 6.3 million Filipinos or almost half of the target number for 2020 will be registered.
“But even if the P2.4 billion will materialize, it is only about 42 percent of what is needed to fully meet the project’s objectives and deliverables next year,” Recto said.
“So instead of 14 million Filipinos, less than half, or 6.3 million, will be registered in 2020. And this will trigger a domino effect that will lay in shambles the project’s timetable. The original plan is to enroll 14 million in 2020; 52 million in 2021, including 5 million overseas Filipinos; and 44 million local residents plus 5 million overseas Filipinos in 2022,” he added.
The goal by 2022, Recto said, is to register 110 million Filipino citizens and resident aliens and 10 million Filipinos abroad in what is officially called the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
The senator recalled that when Congress was being pressed to pass the National ID Law, there was an assurance that funds were available for its implementation.
“That was two years ago when we passed the law certified as urgent by the Palace. During the debates then, we were told that the plan was to cover 120 million people in four years,” Recto said.
“But it now appears that there’s a wide gap between intent and implementation. The proof has always been in the funding. And in the case of the national ID project, it is wanting,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the national ID system into law in August 2018.
Edited bu MUF
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