MANILA — The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill seeking to create a national identification (ID) system that will streamline, integrate and simplify public and private transactions in the country.
Members of the lower chamber passed via viva voce voting House Bill 6221, an Act Establishing the Filipino Identification System (FilSys), which is included in the common legislative agenda of Malacañang and Congress.
Amendments, however, were made to the proposed measure by removing Sections 4 and 7, subsections 34 and 35 pertaining to the entries on sensitive information.
House Committee on Population and Family Relations chairperson, Rep. Sol Aragones, who is the sponsor of the bill, enumerated the numerous 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 system, and reduction in administrative costs and expenses.
Aragones further said 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.
Philippines is one of the nine countries in the world that does not have a national ID system.
“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.
Under the bill, all Filipinos, 18 years old and above, both in the Philippines and abroad, are required to register under the FilSys.
They will be issued a non-transferrable FilID card with the corresponding Common Reference Number (CRN) which will be permanent.
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.
The Philippine Statistics Authority will manage the implementation of the system including its database in cooperation with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Privacy Commission.
The law penalizes a person who uses fraudulent information in the FilSys as well as discloses any information on the system without any authority. (PNA)