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Page added on September 24, 2017

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Proposed national ID system passes the lower house of Congress

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed law seeking to implement a national identification or ID system in the country has passed the third and final reading in the Lower House of Congress.

Proponents of the bill said it will make public transactions with government agencies more efficient.

It is a relief for employees like Gil Colobong. He has six government identification cards which he most of time interchanges during transactions with government agencies.

“So many IDs. Sometimes I lose one or it confuses me. With one ID, all transactions can be done with all government agencies,” said Colobong.

Once the Filipino ID System Act becomes a law, Filipinos will have a single identification card to use in all government transactions.

Filipinos who are 18 years old and above; residents of the Philippines and abroad will receive the national ID card for free.

The ID card will contain the owner’s picture, common reference number, complete name, gender, date, place of birth, permanent address, and blood type.

Meanwhile, other personal information of the card holder will be recorded in the smart chip and data base of the card holder which include his or her Philippine passport number, biometrics data, voters and tax identification number as well as SSS, Philhealth, GSIS, PRC, PAG-IBIG and driver’s license numbers.

“If before, you have a lot of IDs in your wallet, through this law, you will have a single ID you can use in your transactions with the government and the private sector,” said Laguna 3rdDistrict Rep. Sol Aragones.

Meanwhile, the Lower House approved the version of the bill that excludes information such as religious and political beliefs of a holder.

However, some lawmakers have expressed concern over the bill, saying it would give the government the authority to get the private information of Filipinos.

“We might end up in a police state. There is an invasion of the right to privacy. This is a threat as it can be used to control, to monitor, and limit the movements of the public,” said ACT Teachers party list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

But the bill’s proponents assured that the proposal has the necessary safeguards.

“This can only be opened with four conditions. First, if the holder of the card gives consent, and second is during disasters and his or her medical records are needed such as for blood type. Third, when the public health and safety is at stake, and fourth is when there is a court order,” said Rep. Aragones.

The Senate version of the Filipino identification act is still pending in the Senate committee. Although the bill has yet to become a law, the government has already allocated Php 2-billion fund for its implementation next year as it is among the priority bills of the Duterte administration.


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