If the national government is really serious to implement the National ID system and capture as many registrants and serve the purpose of better delivery of social services to our people – including more efficient revenue collection, effective anti-corruption and anti-criminality efforts and the like – they better resolve some pestering issues quickly and surely.
While the National ID law has finally taken off the ground, it has been slowed by several issues – from the controversies that attended the awarding of contracts in outsourcing supply and services, to the crashing of the PSA website due to the unanticipated surge of applicants, and now the long hours of waiting just to register and God knows what else.
The key to the effective implementation of the National ID System or PhilSys Act is our ability to ‘capture the universe’ and encourage as many Filipinos to sign up and register. That much I used as one of my arguments while sponsoring and defending the measure on the Senate floor three years ago.
Finally, it was enacted into law in 2018. It has already taken a long time since its passage and the implementation of the said law is now taking off the ground. If the issues are left unaddressed, it will be another missed opportunity to uplift the lives of our people in more ways than one.
Lacson, one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said the National ID system will promote financial inclusion and streamline government services – both of which are needed at this time.
“The lack of identification creates formidable barriers for the downtrodden and the poor, and creates even larger barriers between the government and the people. Hence, we should push for the implementation of the National ID if we want to further strengthen our response not only against the pandemic, particularly in the roll-out of the much-awaited vaccines, but in many of our future endeavors,” he said at the third annual economic and political briefing of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School.
It is said that the Coronavirus pandemic has been the defining global crisis of our time, with over 101.8 million confirmed cases and over 2.19 million deaths globally.
On top of this, the health crisis has also caused unprecedented disruptions in the economy, pushing nations to deep recession that is expected to leave far-reaching and lasting scars in the next decade.
Our country has taken a beating from the global pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis. Almost instantaneously, economic activities were shut down and tolls of deaths bannered our daily news.
As already mentioned by Dean Lopez, just yesterday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the economy contracted by 9.5% in 2020, making it the largest contraction ever recorded, beating the 7% contraction in 1984. This equates to a P1.4-trillion drop in our nominal Gross Domestic Product, our worst since World War II.
While I can easily relate to Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay and understand how he feels about the Army officers slain in Sulu, emotions running high at this point is the last thing they need.
For all they know, their common enemies such as the terrorists and armed insurgents are already celebrating the Sulu incident – and even making plans to exploit it.
These enemies of the State and our people, through their legal fronts, are very capable of fanning the flames of animosity between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police by creating intrigues to further divide the country’s two major security forces.
In an interview on PTV-4’s Laging Handa public briefing, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Why the Anti-Terrorism Bill is urgent [21:12]
* DOH leadership woes in dealing with COVID-19 threat [23:15]
* National ID’s value amid pandemic [24:56]
* Implementing the GMRC Law [28:03]
In an interview on DZRH, Sen. Lacson answered questions on: * criticisms vs Anti-Terrorism Bill, including high-profile personalities [24:23]
* how National ID system can speed up contact tracing [21:45]
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.
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.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* extension of ECQ/lockdown [0:19]
* need for discipline during ECQ [4:07]
* barangay officials’ problems [10:02]
* sayang ang National ID system [14:04]
* May 4 session resumption; options on legislative calendar [18:09]
* test period for DOH Sec Duque [22:40]