Lobregat: National ID system to reduce red tape Print
Monday, 04 September 2017 17:32

The House of Representatives this week approved on second reading a bill which seeks to establish and institute an identification system that shall provide official identification for every citizen of the country.

House Bill 6221, also known as the “Filipino Identification System”, provides for the establishment of a National Identification Database System, to be known as the Filipino Identification System or FilSys.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua last month said the government is set to allot a budget of P2 billion for the roll-out in 2018 of the national ID system and that 105 million Filipinos can benefit from it by 2020.

Congressman Celso Lobregat, one of the authors of the bill, said the Philippines is one of only nine countries in the world without a national identification system.

“The bill seeks to address this deficiency and institutionalize the Filipino Identification System,” Belmonte, chairman of the committee on West Philippine Sea, Lobregat said.

Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City), chairman of the committee on appropriations and also an author of the bill, said the Filipino Identification System shall cause all citizens of the Republic to be responsible for their own well-being but accountable for their actions.

Moreover, Congressman Lobregat said as the government continues to strategize in combating corruption and to minimize the furtherance of red tape in government and private transactions, the establishment of the Filipino Identification System should be in place.

The solon described the Filipino Identification System as a progressive, economic and social tool to identify all Filipino citizens.

Lobregat said the establishment of a unified identification system will enhance the integrity and reliability of government-issued identification cards in private transactions and prevent violation of laws, including false names and identification. He said a unified identification system will hasten government services by accurate identification and fast recovery of all recorded transactions that pass through the government system.

Under the bill, every Filipino, upon reaching the age of 18, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, is mandated to register personal data as required by the FilSys, and upon application, shall be issued a non-transferable FilID (Filipino ID Card) with a CRN that shall be valid for life.

CRN or the Common Reference Number refers to the unique and permanent identification number specifically issued to an individual upon successful enrollment into the CRN Registry administered by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) in coordination with other implementing agencies.

It is a distinct number issued for every registered citizen across all agencies, offices and other instrumentalities of government.

The application for the FilID shall be filed personally and no fees shall be charged for the filing of applications for registration and all applications shall be made under oath.

A standard fee shall be collected by the issuing agency for the reissuance and release of a replacement card. The FilID card shall contain on its face personal data relating to the individual in whose favor it was issued.

It shall serve as the official government-issued identification document of a cardholder in dealing with national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), government-owned or – controlled corporations (GOCCs), and government financial institutions (GFIs).

No other government-issued identification card shall be required from an individual upon presentation of the FilID card for the purpose of transacting with a government agency or office, or of availing of any government service that requires proof of one’s identity.

Private entities or establishments are likewise mandated to accept the FilID as a valid proof of identity of the individual, without requiring other or additional documents.

The FilID shall have security features that shall prevent tampering or forgery.

The bill mandates the PSA to manage the implementation of the FilSys and ensure the security of the system, in accordance with all applicable laws and policies.

The PSA, as repository and custodian of all data and all civil registry records, shall create and maintain a Filipino Citizen registry that will contain the registered records and information of persons enrolled in the FilSys.

The bill provides protection against unlawful disclosure of information/records.

It states that no person may disclose, collect, record, convey, disseminate, publish, or use any personal data registered with the FilSys, give access thereto or give copies thereof to third parties or entities, including law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, or units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) except in the following circumstances:

(a) when the holder of the FilID expressly authorizes the disclosure of such information to a third person, entity or agency;

(b) in case of accident, disaster or fortuitous events, when information on the medical history of the holder such as the blood type or special medical needs or other relevant information are needed by medical institutions and health service workers;

(c) when the interest of the public health or safety requires so; or

(d) upon the order of any competent court.

In applying for a FilID, any person who uses false information or procures a card through fraud and utilizes it even in a legitimate transaction shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than six months, but not more than two years, or a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P500,000, or both, at the discretion of the court.

The same penalties shall also be imposed on any person who shall willfully and unjustifiably refuse to accept, acknowledge or recognize the FilID as the only official identification of the owner.

Any public official or employee who connives with the offender in committing the acts mentioned in the in the last two preceding paragraphs, or on his own, causes the issuance of an authorized FilID or approves the application for the same, despite the knowledge of the existence of fraud or false information shall suffer the corresponding penalties imposed in the last two preceding paragraphs and shall suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from government service. (Dexter Yap/PR)