House approves national ID bill on final reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, Spetember 9) — A bill pushing for a national identification system has been passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading by an overwhelming vote.

One hundred and forty-two members voted for House Bill 6221, or the act establishing the Filipino Identification System or FilSys. Seven said no. There were no abstentions.

According to Population Committee Chairman Sol Aragones, a national ID would speed up government transactions. There would no need for multiple identification cards to do business with different offices. A national ID can also be used for bank transactions

Aragones said, "Kung dati napakarami nating ID sa wallet, na pumuputok na ang wallet sa dami, ngayon iisang ID na ang pwede nating gamitin sa pakikipagtransaksyon sa gobyerno at private agencies."

[Translation: Before, we needed so many IDs, our wallets were bursting.  Now we can just use one ID to transact with government and private agencies.]

Once the bill is enacted, Filipinos who are at least 18 years old should register with the FilSys at the local civil registry office where they live,  or at other implementing agencies to apply for an ID.

Filipinos abroad should file with the nearest Philippine Embassy or consular office.

No fees will be collected for the ID which will have security safeguards.  The government will also make sure all personal information on the ID would not be hacked.

Under Section 13 of the bill, the military and other law enforcement agencies will have no access to the information contained by the system or access any data, except under the following conditions:

when the owner expressly authorizes the release of the information to a third person, entity, or agency

in case of accidents, disasters, or other events where the disclosure of the owner's medical history is needed

when public health or safety requires it

upon the order of any competent court

Similar blls have been filed by Senators Antonio Trillanes and Manny Pacquiao in 2016 and 2017. Both are still pending.

CNN Philippines digital producer Pia Garcia contributed to this report.