Gov’t has enough funds to implement nat’l ID system – Nograles

MANILA-- The House appropriations committee has approved the proposed funding requirement for a measure which seeks to consolidate all existing government-initiated identification (ID) systems into one integrated Filipino ID system.

In a statement on Friday, appropriations committee chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said there would be enough government funds to carry out the implementation of a national ID system in the country. Bills requiring appropriations have to pass through Nograles' panel.

When asked about the earmarked funding provisions, Nograles told PNA that the appropriations panel only puts a general provision and does not set a maximum limit to provide flexibility.

"There should no longer be a reason to delay the passage of the national ID system. We have enough funds to make it happen. We already passed it in the committee on appropriations which I chair," Nograles said.

He cited the need to beef up the government's efforts in eliminating terrorism threats by equipping it with means to distinguish law abiding citizens from lawless elements.

"I am confident that after the House passage, the measure would be able to gain enough support in the Senate. We want to strengthen the country's fight against terrorism and criminality," Nograles added.

Nograles said that the Filipino ID system would be machine-readable identification cards containing multiple data which can be used not just for identification but also for other government transactions.

The integrated ID system could trim government costs in the production of different types of cards. The proposed Filipino ID system can be used as a social security card, a tax information card, health card, and other government-issued identification cards.

"Unlike before, identification cards can now be embedded with digital chips so instead of having too many cards, a person would need a single card for all his government transactions because all the needed information can be stored there, Nograles said.

"It is cheaper and definitely more convenient for both the government and our citizenry," he added.

Last month, the House committee on population and family relations, chaired by Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, unanimously approved a substitute bill to the 18 measures, all of which seek to create a national ID system that will streamline, integrate and simplify public and private transactions in the country.

In an ambush interview, Aragones said the Filipino ID card will contain on its face the imprinted photograph, name, birth date, gender, and corresponding common reference number of the individual.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall implement and oversee the registration through the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO).

The Filipino ID card may be used in all government transactions including applications for passport, driver's license, availment of services and benefits offered by insurance institutions, clearances from the courts, prosecutor and the police, and other transactions requiring proof of identification.

The initial application and issuance of the Filipino ID card shall be free of charge as part of the government's social service responsibility. A replacement fee shall be paid by the cardholder.

Source: Philippines News Agency