Poor service to taxpayers doesn’t deserve more tax money – Escudero | Inquirer News

Poor service to taxpayers doesn’t deserve more tax money – Escudero

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:36 AM August 10, 2023

Poor service to taxpayers doesn’t deserve more tax money – Escudero

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero (Photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis Escudero on Wednesday questioned the request of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for Congress to allot P1.6 billion for 2024 to fund the printing of the national identification cards (IDs), which has been delayed for years due to the failure of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to manufacture the cards on time.

Escudero said the PSA’s funding request was included in the agency’s proposed budget of P8.8 billion for next year.


“For an agency that prints money and runs the mint, this delay… is unacceptable,” Escudero said in a statement.


In his budget message to Congress, the senator said President Marcos sought the allotment to “accelerate the issuance” of the national IDs, which should have been completed this year as spelled out in Republic Act No. 11055, or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act.

The PSA, the senator said, should be able to justify if the additional funding would finally resolve the problems that hounded the P3.48-billion project.

“At what speed will [the printing of national IDs] be done and will it be fast enough to overtake the backlog?” Escudero said.

“So they really don’t intend to comply with the original target of wrapping up the project in 2023? It’s time to check the developments of this project five years after it was launched,” he added. The PhilSys Act was signed on August 6, 2018, by former President Duterte.

Complaints of errors

Escudero said among the 77.325 million Filipinos who applied for PhilSys cards, only 41.358 million IDs have been printed, of which 34.719 million were received by applicants as of July 7.

He said a total of 38.608 million IDs were just printed on paper, while 1.2 million others were printed by the applicants themselves.


Said Escudero: “In this age of AI (artificial intelligence), the promised cards are being printed DIY (do-it-yourself).”

“This is the reason why 33 million Filipinos have not applied (for national IDs). Their target clienteles have lost interest,” he added.

Besides the delay, for those who received their national IDs, there have been complaints of errors and quality of photos used.

In an earlier Inquirer editorial, it was pointed out how former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the principal author of the measure himself, said his birthdate was inaccurate.

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The story also said netizens complained of hazy photos that were not “ID-worthy” and just by requesting to change their pictures or correct errors on their personal information “they would have to go through the tedious process again and even pay for it.”


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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Francis Escudero, National ID, Philippine Statistics Authority, poor government service

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