Sen. Ping Lacson: “We intend to pass this bill maybe first quarter of next year because we consider this as a landmark legislation.”
(Video courtesy: Senate’s YouTube feed)
Excerpts from Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement:
This is a hearing on several bills pending in the Senate (and) this is the first public hearing. The House of Representatives has approved on third reading the same legislation. So we intend to pass this bill maybe first quarter of next year because we consider this as a landmark legislation.
Just to give you a brief overview, during my first term in the Senate way back in 2001, more than 16 years ago, one of the first bills I authored was Senate Bill No. 1832, otherwise known as the “National Reference Card System Act of 2001,” which aimed at instituting a single official identification for all citizens and foreign residents in the country.
Unfortunately, like all attempts of creating a national ID system before, the said bill faced oppositions on constitutional and privacy grounds.
Back then, creating a robust ID system seemed to be an ambitious one. But now under the current leadership, the present administration, we see some political will and ito ang makakita na ng progress itong ating mga bills pending.
First, the Philippines is just about one of the very few countries in the whole wide world na walang National ID system. Parang napaka-primitive natin in that regard.
The Lower House has already passed in third and final reading House Bill 6221 known as the Act Establishing the Filipino Identification System or FilSys.
We have unprecedented support from the Senate this time around with 10 bills filed establishing the Filipino Identification System or the National Reference System:
– Senate Bill 15 filed by Senators Drilon and Ejercito
– Senate Bill 41 filed by this representation
– Senate Bill 69 filed by Senators Recto and Villanueva;
– Senate Bill 95 by Senator Trillanes;
– Senate Bill 917 filed by Senator Aquino;
– Senate Bill 1500 filed by Senator Zubiri;
– Senate Bill 1510 filed by Senator Gordon;
– Senate Bill 1577 filed by Senator Pacquiao;
– Senate Bill 1579 filed by Senator Angara;
– Senate Bill 1267 filed by Senator Gatchalian.
So there are 10 bills and more than majority of the senators as authors. Medyo papasa na siguro ito.
The purpose of this hearing … is to find out from our resource persons. First, most important question is, will it benefit the individual Filipino and the whole country as well? And how? Ano ang mga benefits, ano ang mga disadvantages? Next hearing we’ll invite ang mga tinatawag na conscientious objectors and not-so-conscientious objectors. We’ll also hear their side on this issue.
For example, sa tax administration, that’s the reason why we invited the DOF and BIR. Sa tax administration anong magagawang benepisyo ng National ID?
Sa delivery of social services kaya inimbitahan natin DSWD. Sa crime prevention and detection inimbitahan natin PNP and AFP.
And then transacting business with government and private institutions.
Another issue at hand, ang integrity of the individual ID and the system as well. Kung hindi natin ma-ensure ang integridad, balewala ang pag-implement natin na ID system.
Naalala ko si Sen. Drilon ang nag-expose nito, ang Indonesians they were able to secure PH passports para mag-attend ng Mecca. So kung ganoon ka-loose ang security features ng National ID, we might as well forget about this whole thing kasi useless din.
Another issue ang verification. Say a policeman accosts an individual or a suspect, how fast can he verify the authenticity of the ID possessed by the individual? Or a bank teller, or a loan officer? May nag-a-apply ng loan or nagbubukas ng account…
But of course we have to strike a balance between security and features filed in the Senate, all 10 of them, and also to pick your brains kung anong position ninyo on several issues.