Filipinos will now have an easier time transacting with the government and with private entities, after the National ID bill advocated by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson was finally signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lacson said Republic Act 11055, which harmonizes and integrates the redundant government ID cards into a single system, would also help deter criminality.
“At long last, we now have a law that breaks the formidable barriers between government and the downtrodden and the poor due to the lack of identification,” Lacson said.
Lacson is the principal sponsor of the measure, aside from being a perennial author since his first term as senator in 2001.
On the other hand, Lacson expressed thanks to President Duterte, as it was under his term that the national ID system – whose legislative journey spanned four presidencies – saw the light of day.
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Lacson said the measure aims to institute a single official identification for all citizens and foreign residents in the country.
Currently, he noted there are 33 different forms of “functional” identification cards issued by various government agencies – a situation that may lead to “duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, and uncoordinated identity approaches.”
Lacson, who headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, said the National ID system could help deter criminality and terrorism by facilitating the processes of apprehension and prosecution.
Under the bill, a foundational ID system dubbed PhilSys will be in place. It will have three components: the PhilSys Number (PSN), PhilID and PhilSys Registry.
PSN is a randomly generated, unique and permanent identification number for each individual, to be incorporated in all identification systems of government agencies. It will remain with the person even after death.
PhilID is a non-transferable card with the PSN and basic information.
The Philippine Statistics Authority is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry. It protects the individual’s right to privacy, and may release information only under the following conditions:
- When the registered person has given his or her consent, specific to the purpose prior to the processing; and
- When the compelling interest of public health or safety so requires, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure.