Philippine National ID System signed into law

The Republic Act 11055 otherwise known as Philippine Identification System Act, which seeks to integrate the various government IDs of all citizens and foreign residents in the country, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, August 6, 2018.

“I signed into law the Philippine Identification System Act, a measure that will establish a single national identification system that will provide good governance, enhance governmental transactions and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce to thrive,” President Duterte said.

The Philippine ID Sytem (Phil-ID) also seeks to promote the efficient delivery of services and to lessen corruption and red tape in the government.

“This will not just enhance administrative governance but reduce corruption, curtail bureaucratic red tape, and promote the ease of doing business, but also avert fraudulent transactions, strengthen financial inclusion, and create a more secure environment for our people,” President Duterte said.

Responding to fears peddled by some groups that the National ID would infringe privacy and personal data of the Phil-ID holders, the President said: “Let me be very clear about this: The information that will be included in the Phil-ID will not be any different from the information already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority or the former NSO, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, COMELEC, and other agencies that gather personal data.”

President Duterte said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will work closely with the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all concerns pertaining to privacy and security.

“There is therefore no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal. If at all, the Phil-ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism” President Duterte said.

At present, some of the government-issued IDs include the Unified Multi-Purpose ID or UMID issued to the members of the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS); Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); Tax Identification Number (TIN); and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).

As implementing agency of the Phil-ID, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will be spearheading the initiative together with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior Local Government (DILG), National Privacy Commission (NPC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) forming the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council (PSPCC).

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the national ID system on May 29 and 30, respectively.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, spearheaded the passage of the Palace-backed bill.

“I ask everyone to join me as we decisively implement measures that will create an environment where our people’s concern will no longer be center on their safety and security, but on charting a future they can proudly bequeath to succeeding generations,” President Duterte said.

As part of the preparatory activities, the PSA will formulate the draft of the Implementing Rules and Regulations for consultation with the PSPCC members, Office of the Solicitor General, University of the Philippines Diliman-College of Law, and stakeholders before its issuance, as mandated by the PhilSys Law. In addition, the Terms of Reference (TOR) shall be prepared for consideration by the PSA-BAC and the procurement shall be fully compliant to R.A. 9184 and the IRR.

In the coming months, the PSA, in collaboration with Council member-agencies, will be conducting a pilot implementation in selected regions in the Philippines. The pilot test aims to lay down the registration process prior to the full 5-year implementation starting 2019.