The National ID system was signed into law nearly two years ago. There is no other time than now where it is most needed.
I hope the National Economic and Development Authority can fast-track the implementation of the National ID system, as directed by the President.
NEDA should have ample help from the Philippine Statistics Authority as the frontline agency, and the Department of ICT which plays a major role.
The first question is, is the system ready to accept registrants? If so, they should give priority to the marginalized sector, and those targeted for financial assistance because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, while the President has made a P10-million offer to whoever can develop a vaccine for COVID-19, it would mean much more if the government invested more on research and development than the token annual average share of 0.4% from the General Appropriations Act.
We only need to look at how much the most prosperous countries spend on R&D to see why we are among the laggards. Even if we bump up the percentage to 1 or 2 percent of the national budget, it would make a major difference.