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Solons push for national ID system

The House Committee on Revision of Laws and the Committee on Appropriations have endorsed for plenary approval the proposed "Filipino Identification System Act" contained in substitute HB 5060.

"The proposed Act shall gradually concert and consolidate all existing Government initiated identification system into one-integrated and efficient identification system," stressed Committee of Revision chairperson Marlyn Primicias-Agabas and Appropriations chairman Isidro Ungab.

HB 5060 is in substitution of four separate but similar original measures - HB No. 11 authored by Reps. Al Francis Bichara, Elisa T. Kho, Rodel Batocabe, Christopher S. Co. Anthony del Rosario and Ferdinand L. Hernandez; HB 489 filed by Reps. Rodolfo Biazon with Co and Batocabe; HB 2243 introduced by Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Gavini "Apol" C. Pancho; and HB 2249 by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez and G. Pancho.

Underscoring the necessity for said single national ID system, the authors said HB 5060 will institutionalize a national information card for all Filipinos that would ensure facilitation and streamline government transactions, and help promote a progressive society through an efficient delivery of basic services.

The proposed statute identifies the Philippine Statistics Authority, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs as the implementing agencies of the program, tasked to create and maintain a Filipino Citizen Registry.

It is important to note that HB 5060 assures protection against unlawful disclosure of information and records obtained in relation to the application for the national ID.

Likewise, the measure provides for penal sanctions, ranging from P50,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment of from six (6) months to two (2) years or both, for knowingly using false information in applying for the issuance of Filipino ID, for wilful and unjustifiable refusal to accept, acknowledge and recognize the Filipino ID, and the act of connivance by a public official or employee in committing the aforementioned acts, the authors said.

Section 4 of HB 5060 states: “xxxx Every Filipino, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad is mandated to register personal information required by the ID system and upon application shall be issued a non-transferrable Filipino ID card with an ID number that shall be valid for life, subject to replacement only under the following circumstances:

(A) When a child reaches the legal age of eighteen (18) years old;

(B) when there is change in name, family name by virtue of court order or by application of law, such as married woman who adopts the surname of the husband;

(C) for lost or destroyed ID cards;

(D) For other revisions that may be deemed necessary by the card holder such as changes in the facial features due to age or medical intervention."

Likewise, Filipino cardholders, upon reaching the age of sixty (60) years old are required to renew their Filipino ID card, free of charge. The Filipino ID card shall be made of tamper-proof security material. It shall have on its face the imprinted photograph, name, birth date, gender, date of issue, signature of owner, the corresponding individual serial number issued by the PSA and such other date as may be deemed necessary and shall also have the capability to store at least the biometric data of the individual cardholder.

The initial application and issuance of the Filipino ID card shall be free of charge as part of the government’s social service responsibility, but a replacement fee shall be paid by the cardholder. Funding for the implementation shall be included in the appropriations of the PSA and the DFA in the General Appropriations Act.

The pertinent details for applicants with pre-existing government issued ID card shall be utilized and honored as reference in the issuance of the Filipino ID card. When the ID system becomes operational, every Filipino residing in the Philippines shall apply for the registration and issuance of the Filipino ID card at the office of the Local Civil Registrar of the city or municipality where one is a resident.

Likewise, every Filipino residing abroad shall apply for registration and issuance of the Filipino ID car at the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consular Office of the country where they are residing.

The PSA, through the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) or the Philippine Embassy of Consular Offices abroad, is mandated to issue a Filipino ID car within ninety (90) days from the registration of live birth. The parents or the legal guardian of the minor, incompetent or disabled person shall be responsible for the application and safekeeping of the issued Filipino ID card.

When the Filipino ID card is presented to any government agency or for identification purposes, no other additional identification card shall be required. Except in instances allowed under the provisions of R.A. 92225 or “The Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003”, the Filipino ID card shall motu propio be rendered invalid and ineffective upon the loss of Filipino citizenship.--by Dionisio P. Tubianosa, Media Relations Service-PRIB

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