Nat’l ID game- changer in war vs poverty, crime

THE near enactment into law of the National Identification System (ID) will be a game-changer in the fight against poverty and criminality, a leader bared yesterday.

“The national ID card presents a practical solution to various problems that we have simply learned to live with as a society. I think it’s a sign of maturity as a people to finally embrace a system that would benefit the vast majority of Filipinos who are law-abiding citizens,” said Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, one of the principal authors of the proposal and chairman of the House committee on appropriations.

“Other countries already enjoy this benefit so why can’t we? Tayo naman ang mag-level up,” said Nograles.

Nograles said the proposed National ID System Act -- which now only needs President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature to become a law -- will help unify government transactions and people’s identity.

“Having a national ID card is beneficial to national security and it is a sign of progress. It will help lessen criminality including illegal drug activities; corruption in government like fixing, under the table transactions, red tape; and the other illegalities such as illegal recruitment and terrorism,” Nograles enumerated.

It was last May when House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report that contained the consolidation of the House and Senate versions of the pending measure.

No less than President Duterte has been pushing for the enactment of the National ID System Law.

“The fact that it passed both chambers of Congress -- especially in the House where nearly 300 districts in the country are duly represented -- means that Filipinos have given their stamp of approval to the usage of this ‘all-in-one’ card,” pointed out Nograles.

The national ID card is a machine-readable government card that will store multiple data about the cardholder. This data can range from tax information, health or social security card details, just to name a few.

Nograles, in his capacity as appropriations panel chair, set aside P2 billion for the implementation of the measure as early as June last year, when deliberations on the 2018 national budget were just starting.

This allocation was carried over to the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA), which took effect in January.

“We must implement it as soon as possible. In fact, it should have been done a long time ago. I hope the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the agency in charge of the national ID card, exercised foresight by preparing in advance for the enforcement of the Act using the P2 billion,” said Nograles.