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More solons want national ID system established

MANILA, July 17 -- Lawmakers are pushing for the establishment of a National Identification Card to serve as the official identification of all Filipino citizens or alien permanent residents dealing with government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC), firms or establishments.

Ako Bicol Party-List Reps. Rodel M. Batocabe and Christopher S. Co authored House Bill 523 to institutionalize a national identification card that will replace the current practice of requiring at least two valid government issued IDs when transacting business with different agencies in the country.

“The current program of a Unified Multi-purpose ID card (UMID) for members of GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig, pursuant to Executive Order 420 of April 13, 2005 serves as an excellent case study in favor of extending the National ID card to all Filipinos and alien permanent residents,” Batocabe said.

“Once enacted into law, all citizens, not only government employees and SSS members but the self-employed, the unemployed, minors, and Filipinos working abroad will be under the coverage of the National ID system,” Batocabe added.

The measure also known as the “Filipino Identification System Act,” shall provide official identification of all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines and gradually concert and consolidate all existing government-initiated identification systems into one integrated and efficient identification system.

Under the measure, 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.

The ID card may be replaced only when a child reaches the legal age of 18 years old; when there is change in name and family name by virtue of court order or by application of law, such as a married woman adopting the surname of the husband, for lost or destroyed, for other revisions that may deemed necessary by the cardholder such as changes in the facial features due to age or medical intervention.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as the implementing agency, shall determine, validate and administer the data and materials required to avail of the benefits of the identification system, while the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through Philippine embassies and consular offices shall handle the registration of Filipinos residing abroad.

The proposed ID card shall be honored in transactions requiring the identity, status, birth and all other personal circumstances, including application for passport, driver’s license; applications for any services and benefits offered by the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF); and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), courts, prosecutor and the police clearances.

Likewise, the ID card can also be used as proof of identity, status, age and address for admission in all learning institutions as well as for employment; for voting identification; availment of benefits afforded by law to senior citizens; and for banking and financial institution.

Violations are punishable by law, such as false information in applying for the issuance of the ID card or acquiring through fraud; refusing to accept or acknowledge the ID as the only official identification of the owner, any public official or employee who connives with the offender, causing the issuance of an unauthorized ID card or approves the application despite the knowledge of the existence of fraud or false information.

Violators shall be punished with a fine of not more than P500,000 or imprisonment of not more than two years or both, at the discretion of the court.

Offending government officials and employees shall suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from government service.

The penalties imposed shall be in addition to those imposed on acts punishable by existing penal and other laws, including acts of omission.

The PSA, as repository of all data, shall create and maintain a Filipino Citizen Registry that will contain the registered records and information of persons issued with the Filipino ID card.

The PSA shall institute the necessary measure to safeguard the information provided in the Filipino ID card and no such information shall be released to any agency, office or instrumentality, government or otherwise, nor shall it be used against any person except in cases stipulated in the proposed Act.

The PSA, in coordination with relevant agencies such as the DFA, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Commission on Elections, the GSIS, the SSS, the PhilHealth and the Bureau of Immigration, shall promulgate rules and regulations and exchange existing technologies and best practices on the issuance of identification cards to effectively implement the proposed Act.

Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary C. Alejano also filed a measure institutionalizing the establishment of a National ID system that will also serve as an important tool in upgrading the speed and quality of public service in the country without compromising the protection and privacy of personal information.(PNA)


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