Senate OKs national ID system bill on final reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill creating a national identification system in the country to facilitate transactions with government agencies and the private sector.

Senate Bill No. 1738, or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act of 2018, was passed with 17 votes in favor of the bill, two votes against, and no abstention.

The proposed measure, sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, integrates and interconnects various government-issued identification cards (IDs) into a single official identification system for all citizens.

Lacson said there are currently 33 different forms of functional IDs issued by various government agencies, which result in "duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, and uncoordinated identity approaches."

As proposed, the national ID system will have three components, the PhilSys number, the PhilID, and PhilSys Registry.

"An important feature of this proposed legislation is the concept of authentication or the process of verifying, whether online or offline, the identity of an individual against the registry information in the PhilSys or the PhilID," Lacson said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority would set up the registry and act as a repository and custodian of all registered data.

In September 2017, the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 6221, or the Filipino Identification System Act.