No reason to fear national ID system —Albayalde

August 04, 2019

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said there’s really no reason for the public to be apprehensive of the Philippine Identification System (PhlSys) or the National ID system which is set for pilot-testing next month.

Saying it would not just ease transactions but also help in deterring crimes, the country’s top cop said law-abiding citizens should not be apprehensive of the ID system  since only terrorists and criminals are not buying the idea.

“The PNP strongly supports the implementation of the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act or PhilSys which has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 2018 and it will be piloted this September as the national ID system. Aside from the assurance of wide-range delivery of government services and privileges, this new ID system will boost our operational thrust against terrorism coping with global trends,” said Gen. Albayalde.

The PNP chief said they are 100 percent behind the national ID system despite concerns raised by government critics that it would only be used by the administration against ordinary citizens.

“I think kami rin pinropose namin ‘yan. We support that 100 percent. Maganda po ito. We see nothing wrong with having a national ID; mukhang tayo na nga lang ang bansang walang national ID,” he said. “If you are a law-abiding citizen, ano ang pwede mong ikatakot sa pagkakaroon ng national ID? Wala po sigurong masama rito. Parang pagbili lang ‘yan ng SIM card, dito lang sa Pilipinas na pwede ka bumili ng SIM card tapos pwede mo na gamitin and then throw it away,” he explained.

Albayalde said the police can “single out” people with no IDs. “With this at least alam natin those without IDs medyo may problema. Those who did not apply for IDs may problema then we can single them out. ‘Yun ang isang maganda doon. If you commit an offense napakadali,” he said previously.

He said 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.

“Malaking bagay ‘yan lalung-lalo na sa pag-improve ng peace and order sa bansa,” he said. Officials said that in particular, solving cybercrimes especially fraud, identity theft, and online scams, will be much easier for the police and other law enforcement agencies.

“Meron na tayong access to records na consolidated so hindi na tayo mangangapa sa identity of the suspect. Maaaring mas mapabilis ang pagresolba ng mga kaso,” said Major General Benigno B. Durana Jr. of the PNP Directorate for Police-Community Relations.

Furthermore, Gen. Albayalde said that with the implementation of the national ID system, the PNP’s own National Crime Information System and National Police Clearance System will be consolidated with the national database.

Aside from improving peace and order, the PNP said an efficient national ID system assures 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.

The PNP chief however acknowledged before that the privacy issue is a concern in the national ID system.  “What’s important really dito is yung privacy. Siguro ito ang concern kasi alam naman natin na hindi naman talaga foolproof ang database natin. It can always be hacked kasi mababa yung secrecy and encryption. Kailangan natin sigurong mapakita sa ating mga kababayan na safe sa amin ang data niyo at hindi ito basta basta pwedeng ilabas,” he emphasized.

According to the bill, Philsys would harmonize, integrate, and interconnect the country’s many government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.

It will have three key components: the PhilSys Number or PSN; the PhilID; and the PhilSys Registry.

The PhilID will be a non-transferable card containing on its face the PSN, full name, facial image, date of birth, address and fingerprints of the individual.

Under the measure, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry, a repository and custodian of all data including the PSN, registered records, and information of all persons registered in the PhilSys.

The law signed by President Duterte on August 6 last year also created a PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council (PSPCC), with the mandate to formulate policies and guidelines to ensure effective coordination and...

implementation of the PhilSys.

Under the law, the national ID shall contain a person’s PhilSys number, full name, gender, blood type, place of birth, date of birth, marital status (optional), mobile number (optional), address, front facing photo, full set of fingerprints and iris scan.

President Duterte had said that PhilSys would boost his administration’s drive against “social menaces of poverty, corruption, and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism”. Pilot testing for the national ID would be from September to December this year  wherein a substantial number of Filipinos nationwide would be registered.