Pimentel seeks probe on ‘long delayed’ issuance of national ID cards
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III now wants the Senate to investigate the “long delayed issuance” of the national identification cards (IDs) by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
In Senate Resolution No. 585 filed on Tuesday, Pimentel specifically asked the Senate blue ribbon committee to conduct the probe.
“Given the unreasonably prolonged delivery, questionable usefulness, and substandard quality of the national IDs, there is already cause to believe that there is malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance on the part of the leadership in the PSA, the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), and other relevant agencies in fulfilling its mandate under Republic Act No. 11055,” he said in the resolution.
The issuance of a single national ID system was provided for under Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, which was signed into law in August 2018.
Based on a memorandum of agreement with the PSA, the BSP was mandated to produce and deliver 116 million “pre-personalized IDs” from 2021 to 2023, the resolution reads.
As of the end of 2021, however, the BSP only delivered 27,356,750 pre-personalized cards, or 76 percent of the 36 million required number of IDs for 2021, the resolution noted, citing the Commission on Audit’s findings.
“We are concerned about the delay in the issuance of these cards. It is crucial that the government takes immediate steps to resolve the issue and ensure that all citizens have access to their national ID,” Pimentel said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The government should take swift action to address the issue and provide a clear timeline for when Filipinos can receive their national IDs,” he added.
Aside from the delay in meeting the quota for the number of ID cards to be accomplished, the resolution also mentioned the complaints about the supposed inaccuracy of personal information and blurry images on the cards.
In some cases, it said, the IDs are no longer readable after three months.
“Even the usefulness of the ID is in question, as some financial institutions refused to recognize the national ID because it lacks the holder’s signature,” Pimentel further said in the resolution.