A FEW days after completing the first four years of his six-year term of office, President Duterte continues to fine-tune his program of action to provide immediate service to the people even during trying times.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the hard-hitting Duterte completed last Tuesday the first four years of his six-year presidency, which started on June 30, 2016, leaving him with less than two years to fulfill his poll promises.
In fact, President Duterte’s trusted lieutenants, including the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), now want the government to fast-track the implementation of the National Identification (ID) System.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said the controversial national ID is seen as a very effective way to provide timely service to vulnerable groups during crises, like the raging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Last August 2018, President Duterte signed the Philippine System Identification Act or PhilSys, which mandates the government to create a single official ID card for all Filipinos and foreign residents in the country.
Quickly, the 205,000-strong PNP, which is civilian in nature but national in scope, welcomed the signing of the law, saying it is an effective tool to improve peace and order in the Philippines.
Apart from improving peace and order, the PNP said an efficient national ID system will assure access by the 106.6 million Filipinos to a wide range of government services and privileges.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said that PhilSys will allow the government to automatically release assistance to people affected by national crises.
Under the controversial legislation, the proposed national ID shall contain a person’s PhilSys number, full name, gender, blood type, date of birth, marital status, address and a picture.
Previous administrations attempted to establish a national ID system, but these efforts were met with strong opposition from various sectors amid fears data privacy would be violated.
Today, we applaud the government for its determination to hasten the nation’s socio-economic development despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to claim the lives of people across the globe.