National ID system to boost gov’t effort to help COVID-19 victims

THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has aired its full support to the government’s move to fast-track the implementation of the National ID System which has been seen as a very effective way to provide immediate service to vulnerable groups during crises including the national emergency brought about by the killer COVID-19 virus, the Journal Group learned.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) said that the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys will allow the government to automatically release assistance to all Filipinos affected by national crises including earthquakes, volcano eruption, massive fires and the COVID-19 virus.

President Duterte signed in August 2018 the Philippine System Identification Act which mandates the government to create a single official identification card for all citizens and foreign residents that would serve as a de facto national identification number.

Under the law, the national ID shall contain a person’s Philippine Identification System number, full name, gender, blood type, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, address, and a front facing photo.

Prior to the signing of the PhilSys Act, the Philippines had been one of the few countries in the world which had no national ID system. Previous administrations attempted to establish a national ID system but these efforts were met with strong opposition amid fears data privacy would be violated.

Last April, the Philippine Statistics Authority set registration for the national ID system to October, moving it from the original July schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The PNP in 2018 welcomed the signing of the Philippine ID System saying it is one effective tool to improve peace and order in the country.

Officials maintained that if all Filipinos will register to the government’s central identification system, access to records of the identity of a person who committed a crime will be easier for state security forces, thus, resulting to an easier solution or even prevention of crime.

The PNP leadership said that by having a National ID System, solving cyber-crimes specifically online fraud, identity theft, and online scams will be easier for them since investigators can easily access necessary information of a crime suspect.

The PNP said that with the implementation of the National ID system, their own National Crime Information System and National Police Clearance System will be consolidated with the national database.

Apart from improving peace and order, the PNP says that an efficient National ID System will assure access by 106.6-million Filipinos to a wide-range of government services and privileges including in census, taxation, election registration, banking, travel documentation, social security, social welfare, and other transactions with government agencies.