One of the problems seen by public officials nowadays is the sheer number of government-issued identification that one person must pick up from a variety of agencies for the purposes of documentation. One of the proposals to streamline government identification for persons has been a “national ID” system combining information from various agencies into one. This initiative however has been presented and shot down multiple times over the course of decades, with voices supporting or finding flaws in it. Now however, it would appear the Philippine National ID will have its time to shine, with initial availability by year’s end.
CNN Philippines reports that free National IDs will begin to be issued to residents requesting them in Metro Manila and Region IV-A – CALABARZON towards the end of 2018. This was revealed by Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles this Wednesday, August 8. Nograles, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a principal sponsor of the National ID system bill, described the National Capital Region and IV-A as pilot areas which will test the efficacy of the National ID, the system of which is being funded by an allotment of P2 billion from the National Budget since the start of the year.
“That has to be used,” said Nograles in an interview with CNN Philippines. “We need to fully utilize that fund.” And the initial P2 billion allotment for the National ID system will be joined by another P2 billion from the National Budget for next year. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a long familiar office for many Filipinos due to being the source of their Birth Certificates, will be the agency overseeing the NID system and is busying itself developing the implementing rules and regulations for the law governing National IDs. They have however asked for a P6 billion total budget.
While only the NCR and Region IV-A will have first crack at getting free National IDs, Karlo Nograles assures that registration will soon be available for it at all PSA Offices nationwide. And there is the possibility that other agencies, especially those whose member information will be included in the NID, might be roped in to help. “They will coordinate with other offices as well — GSIS, SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, and even Comelec — will be open to accommodate registration.”
The National ID System implementation has gone on full tilt since President Rodrigo Duterte signed it into law this Monday, August 6. Proponents extol the convenience of having all governmental agency data on a Filipino citizen in one ID card, while critics decry it as potentially breaching private data and putting them at risk with identity thieves.
Image courtesy of Office of Rep. Sol Aragones, Laguna 3rd District