National ID system revived in House
The House of Representatives is reviving a proposal to adopt a national identification (ID) system on a voluntary basis.
The House committee on revision of laws has agreed to conduct hearings on House Bill No. 131 of Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara and House Bill No. 241 of Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo which seek to implement the ID system despite repeated rejection by Congress and the public in the last four administrations.
The proponents are claiming that their measure, to be dubbed “VIP card,” would be voluntary for Filipinos 18 years old and above to be used primarily to facilitate and streamline governmental transactions, cut red tape and increase productivity.
“The national ID system has been time and again proposed in Congress. However, said idea, though how novel and noble its purposes are, has always been met with stiff opposition especially from human rights groups and other similar organizations fearing that this might be used by the state to violate the rights of individuals,” Bichara said in a statement.
Bichara stressed that any information obtained from the system would be considered private and could not be used as evidence against the holder in any criminal proceedings.
For Romualdo, the system would consolidate the IDs issued by the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Professional Regulation Commission and Land Transportation Office.
“An estimated 60 percent of our citizens of legal age do not have a valid identification card which can show proof of their identity when dealing with government agencies and private institutions,” Romualdo said.
All cardholders would be given a lifetime number with the VIP card to utilize the latest in card security technology.
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