MANILA A leader in the House of Representatives on Monday urged the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to implement the national identification (ID) card system this year.
House appropriations committee chairman Karlo Nograles said the PSA could start the process of implementation despite the pending enactment of the measure, considering that about PHP2 billion was already allocated for the ID system under the 2018 national budget.
"Let us remind the PSA to implement the measure using the budget of PHP2 billion we allocated for 2018," Nograles said.
"At this point, the enactment of the measure is pretty much a no brainer given the support of MalacaAang behind it. So to reflect the spirit of the proposed law, which is ensuring the convenience of Filipinos, the PSA should look to implement it at the soonest time possible," he added.
The Senate passed the proposed national ID system on third and final reading last week, while the House of Representatives has passed its own version in September last year.
Once both chambers ratify the measure, it will be transmitted to MalacaAang for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.
The Filipino Identification System (FilSys) card is the envisioned all-in-one, machine-readable government card that will store multiple data about the cardholder.
The FilSys 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.
"It is designed to replace all other government-issued identification cards, meaning Filipinos will only have to carry one card for all their transactions. This will save the cardholder and the government itself time and money from having to deal with multiple ID cards," Nograles said.
"FilSys cards will make government-based transactions more efficient since all the information that an agency needs is contained in a single card," he added.
Nograles also allayed concerns that the government would use the national ID system against its perceived enemies, assuring that the House would do its part to prevent such abuse.
"We will exercise our oversight functions to make sure they will implement it properly and not abuse the system," he said.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the national ID system would already be in existence by October 2018.
Source: Philippine News Agency