Duterte signs National ID System Act

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Monday an act creating a national identification system in the country.

The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act of 2018, authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, aims to create a single official identification card for all citizens that integrates and interconnects various government-issued IDs.

In his speech at the signing ceremony in Malacañang, the President said the act would establish a single national ID system that would promote "good governance, enhanced governmental transactions, and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce to thrive."

The national ID, he said, would be called "Phil-ID" and would be issued to all residents and resident aliens living in the country.

The use of single identification card when conducting transactions would not just result in processes being done quicker, but also reduce the occurrence of fraudulent transactions and create a more secure environment.

Duterte also sought to dispel fears saying information stored in the ID would not be any different from information already with the National Statistics Authority, PhilHealth, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or other agencies that gather personal data.

Duterte said, "Moreover, the Philippine Statistics Authority shall work closely with the National Privacy Law Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all concerns pertaining to privacy and security."

"There is therefore, no basis at all for the apprehension about the PhilID unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal," the President added.

Lacson previously said having different forms of functional IDs results in "duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, and uncoordinated identity approaches."

READ: Senate OKs national ID system bill on final reading

The national ID system will have 13 sets of information. It will bear the PhilSys number (PSN), full name, sex, blood type, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, and photo of the ID owner. More information will be stored in the PhilSys registry, such as mobile number, email address, and biometrics data, including full set of fingerprints and iris scan.

Congress approved and ratified the measure in May. Once signed by the President, officials shall roll out the identification cards to one million Filipinos before the end of the year with priority to persons with disability, senior citizens, and the poor.