Senate OKs national ID system on final reading
A bill that would establish the first national ID system in the country has been approved by the Senate on third and final reading.
Voting 17-2, senators voted on Monday to approve Senate Bill No. 1738 known as “An Act Establishing the Philippine Identification System.”
The two who voted against the measure were Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros.
The same measure was approved by the House of Representatives in September last year. Once ratified by both chambers, the bill will be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature before it becomes a law.
Under the bill, a single national identification to be called the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys would be established for all citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines.
The national ID would contain the PhilSys Number (PSN), full name, date of birth, address and some fingerprint information of an individual.
“The PhilID shall serve as the official government-issued identification document of cardholders in dealing with all national government agencies, local government units, government -owned or controlled corporations, government financial institutions and all private sector entities,” the bill said.
The information that would be collected and stored under the PhilSys are full name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, address, Filipino or Resident Alien. The mobile number and email address, meanwhile, are optional.
Senator Panfilo Lacson noted that at present, there are various identification cards issued to governments workers alone like the Unified Multi-Purpose ID or UMID, which is issued to the members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).
“However, while it provides a good chance at harmonizing our government ID systems, UMID only covers less than 20% of the population since the start of its enrollment process in 2010,” he said when he earlier sponsored the measure on the floor.
“Several government-issued ID numbers are also in use, resulting in duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, and uncoordinated identity approaches. In fact, a perusal of the list of valid IDs in the Philippines enumerates 33 – I repeat, 33 – different forms of identification issued by various government agencies.”
Lacson said the measure would “harmonize, integrate, and interconnect these countless and redundant government IDs” by establishing a single national identification system.
A statement released after the approval of the bill quoted the senator as saying that the bill would also protect the individual’s right to privacy as the PhilSys would only be released under the following conditions:
- Upon the consent of the registered person, specific to the purpose prior to the processing;
- Upon risk of public health and safety when relevant information may be disclosed, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure;
- Upon order of the court; and
- When a registered person requests access to his or her registered information and record history, subject to the guidelines and regulations to be issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). /je
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