MANILA Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed hope Congress will pass the proposed national identification (ID) system into law as early as next week.
In a briefing Wednesday, Diokno said lawmakers from both houses of Congress have given their support on the measure.
The House of Representatives approved its version of the measure, House Bill 6221, in September 2017 while Senator Panfilo Lacson delivered his sponsorship speech on the bill last March 12.
We can get it started this year and I'm confident that we can do it within this year, he said.
Diokno said this national ID will actually render the other IDs redundant and its implementation is long overdue.
By having this ID you can say that you exist, he said, pointing out that this is one way of efficiently distributing programs of the government.
Diokno said the ID system has been allocated with PHP2 billion funding, which has been placed under the 2018 budget of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). It can be implemented within a year once it is signed into law, he said.
The budget was given to the PSA since the agency is the country's national registrar, he said.
Diokno said the Duterte administration wants to adopt the Indian model national ID system, which was implemented in three years.
Beneficiaries of the Philippine government's cash transfer program would be the initial beneficiaries of the proposed ID system, he said.
The ID will have information about the holder's demographic details like name, sex, date of birth, place of birth and address and will lessen the need for at least 33 sectoral IDs currently being issued by various government agencies.
Even foreigners who are resident of the Philippines will have their own national ID under this program.
Diokno said the government wants to tap a third party to help in the initial implementation of the ID system, which would eventually be maintained by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
The ID would not be sophisticated but would use biometrics using scans of all 10 fingers as well as the irises, he said, noting that it would be called foundational ID and has higher ranking than existing unified multi-purpose ID (UMID).
The Budget and Management chief said even newborns would have their own IDs if they are registered.
ID numbers of people who have been issued this ID but have died will not be used anymore.
Diokno said this system would also address corruption and misrepresentation, among others.
There will still be leakages but it will be captured once we implement it, he added.
Source: Philippine News Agency