The House Committee on Population and Family Relations has passed the Filipino Identification System Act which seeks to synchronize and consolidate all existing government-initiated identification systems into one integrated and efficient identification system. The said proposal which is one of the priority bills of the 17thCongress was unanimously approved by the committee members.
In the near future, all Filipinos will need to present just one identification card (ID) to transact with government agencies and other commercial establishments that require individuals to present two or more government-issued IDs.
“Napupuno na ang mga wallet natin minsan ng kung anu-anong IDs para makipagtransaksyon sa iba’t-ibang sangay ng gobyerno. Ang isa ay hindi puede gamitin sa iba. Pag pribadong establisyemento, dalawa pa ang dapat ipresenta. Mas magiging madali para sa ating mga kababayan kung magkakaroon tayo ng isang ID na puedeng gamitin para sa lahat,” stressed Rep. Sol Aragones.
Committee on Population and Family Relations Chair Rep. Sol Aragones, who is also one of the principal authors of the measure, explained that under the FilSys, every Filipino citizen upon turning 18 will be required to register with FilSys and will be issued a non-transferable Filipino ID Card (Fil ID) which will serve as the official government issued identification document of cardholders in dealing with national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), and government financial institutions (GFIs).
Applicants with preexisting government issued identification card and/or available biometric data shall be harmonized and utilized as reference in the issuance of the Fil ID. All existing related identification systems and databases of the government shall be integrated in the FilSys.
The government agencies that shall issue Fil ID cards, upon compliance with prescribed minimum standards under the FilSys, are the Local Civil Registrar Offices (LCROs), Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or PAGIBIG Fund), Philippine Postal Services (PPS), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The Fil ID card issued by any of the abovementioned agencies shall be honored and accepted in transactions requiring proof or verification of a Filipino citizen’s identity not only by government institutions but also by private entities.
“This will make it much more convenient for our citizens, many of whom don’t have more than one government-issued ID and must secure another one just so they can transact with private establishments,” said Aragones.
The Fil ID shall store biometrics information which can be processed by fingerprint-based biometric machines that shall be installed in all relevant agencies for coordination and verification of data and identity of the cardholders.
The legislator added that the FilSys shall be stored in a computer database that will be managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) with technical assistance provided by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The National Privacy Commission (NPC), on the other hand, shall be an integral part of the implementation and management of the system owing to its primary mandate of upholding data privacy and instituting safeguards in data collection, recording, and disclosure of information while allowing for the free flow of information, without compromising the protection of the citizens.
“We know that the confidentiality of personal information is important to everyone, which is why the PSA will be tasked to work with the DICT and the NPC to secure the information in the FilSys database.”
The measure penalizes any person who shall use false information in applying for the issuance of a Fil ID or one who shall willfully and unjustifiably refuse to accept or recognize the Fil ID as the only official identification of the owner with imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 2 years or a fine of not less than P50,000.00 but not more than P500,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the court.