Solons push for implementation of national ID system

April 8 ------ Iloilo 5th district Rep. Raul “Boboy” Tupas has urged the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to fully implement its Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project to “complement” the government’s implementation of its social amelioration programs. The chairman of the House national defense and security committee cited as crucial the implementation of the national ID project this year, pointing to the difficulties encountered by the government in rolling out its social amelioration program (SAP). “The Philippine Statistics Authority should push through with its implementation of the national ID System this year. Despite COVID-19, the national ID must happen in 2020,” Tupas said in a statement issued on Tuesday night. “A national ID system complements the roll out of the social amelioration measures. It reinforces the targeting system of the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and provides government the means to map out the informal sectors,” he said. Tupas is one of the authors of Republic Act (RA) No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which calls for the implementation of a two-month long emergency subsidy program that will benefit 18 million low-income households. He said in implementing the national ID project, priority should be given to the informal sector workers, minimum wage earners, indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers, drivers, athletes, kasambahays, persons with disabilities (PWDs) , senior citizens, and solo parents. “These segments of our population are the ones who faced great difficulties because of COVID-19 quarantine measures. Many of them simply had no ID to present,” Tupas said. He explained that lack of identification also means zero or little access to basic public services, including banking and financial transactions. “Many are among the unbanked or outside of the financial system just because they have no IDs,” he said. He said given their “unstable” working conditions, those project-based workers and casuals should also be given priority when PSA fully implements the project. “Newborn babies should also be issued their national ID because that ID would be for their entire life. Babies should have more than just their birth certificate as proof of their identity,” Tupas added. Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte also earlier sought the “speedy and full” implementation of the PSA’s PhilSys project. He said there could have been a smooth and immediate implementation of the SAP if the national ID project was already in place. This identification system would have profiled the 18 million target households, including their respective home addresses, said Villafuerte, principal author of RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. He noted that the PSA had targeted to have all Filipinos here and abroad enrolled under the PhilSys by mid-2020 this year. However, the PSA still has to award the contract for Phase 2 of PhilSys—the Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS)—which involves encoding the biometric and other information of all Filipino citizens into the system and in their respective national IDs, Villafuerte said. Source: