MANILA — The chairperson of the House Committee on Population and Family Relations has finally endorsed for plenary consideration a bill seeking to create a national identification (ID) system that will streamline, integrate and simplify public and private transactions in the country.
In a press statement Wednesday, Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, who is chair of House Committee on Population and Family Relations, urged her colleagues to pass House Bill 6221, an Act Establishing the Filipino Identification System (FilSys), stressing that the measure would enable the government to better serve its growing population.
“We cannot allow the risks that accompany new technologies to deter us from adopting them. Neither should we allow fears of government abuse to dissuade us from adopting measures that, if properly implemented, can benefit 100 million Filipinos and Filipinos yet unborn,” Aragones said.
In her sponsorship speech, Aragones enumerated the advantages of FilSys, including the simplified processes in public services, reduction of redundancy and delay in government services and transactions, elimination of multiple government identification systems, and reduction in administrative costs and expenses.
Aragones added that the new ID system could prevent the use of false identities, fraudulent transactions, and misrepresentations.
Aragones cited the success of national ID systems in other countries such as India, which has Aadhaar, the most sophisticated national ID system in the world.
The lawmaker said the Indian model’s success has prompted the Chief Economist of the World Bank to say that it should be replicated in other countries.
Aragones explained that “what began as an ambitious program in 2009 that required a sizable investment on the part of the Indian government is now paying dividends, as Aadhaar is estimated to save the Indian government two billion dollars a year — savings that could reach as much as seven billion dollars by 2018.”
“We have agencies that will ensure the security of our data,” she said.
The Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10173) would also ensure the security of the data in the FilSys.
“Establishing the FilSys does not water down this law; on the contrary, the earlier passage of this law provides us with the legal weapons necessary to punish those who unlawfully use the information in the FilSys,” she added.
The lady solon assured that there are safeguards in the bill that would prevent misuse of FilSys data.
The bill provides that no person may disclose, collect, record, convey, disseminate, publish, or use any personal data registered with the FilSys, give access thereto or give copies thereof to third parties or entities, including law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, or units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), except in specific instances.
The bill also mandates all implementing agencies “to uphold the provisions of RA 10173 and other existing laws to ensure data protection and guarantee respect for the right to privacy throughout the whole process and accord all Filipino citizens registered under the FilSys their rights as data subjects.”