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NATIONAL ID SYSTEM: FILIPINO IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM ACT

The existing multiple identification system in the government is one of the causes of red tape in the bureaucracy. Filipinos have to present various identification cards issued by different government agencies in order to prove their identity here and abroad. In fact, the Philippines is one of only nine (9) countries in the world without a national identification (ID) system. The issuance of identification cards from different agencies has created unnecessary and costly redundancies, thereby entailing higher costs.

The Filipino Identification System will consolidate all government-issued ID systems into one to improve government services and limit red tape in government transactions. It will lower costs, streamline transactions, and provide ease and convenience. Individuals can use the ID as an official document that will be honored in transactions concerning a person’s identity, marital status, birth, and other personal circumstances. It will be accepted in transactions with national government agencies, local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations, and government financial institutions. It may also be used to identify voters, schools, and employees, as well as to avail of senior citizens’ benefits. It may also be used in courts, for police clearances, and transactions with banking and financial institutions.

In 1996, the "National Computerized Identification Reference System" issued by the Ramos administration was invalidated by the Supreme Court on two main grounds: "one, it is a usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry’s protected zone of privacy."(Ople vs. Torres G.R.127685 July 23,1998). According to the SC, the President can issue administrative orders, rules and regulations only in the exercise of administrative power. However, the national ID system established byA.O.308 redefines the parameters of some basic rights of the citizenry vis-a-vis the State; it imposes a duty on a citizen to get an ID before he can be given the right to deal with government agencies delivering basic services. So, it deals with a subject of general concern or common interest that should be covered by law enacted by Congress. It cannot be covered by a mere administrative order.

To deter unlawful use of information. the proposed measure provides sanctions ranging from six months to two years imprisonment, and a fine of P50,000 to P500,000. The System should consider issues on selection of the source documents, technology obsolescence (i.e. biometrics), high cost of implementation, administrative efficiency as well as the level of computerization in government agencies.

Related House Bills:

House Bills 3425, 2243

Status:

Approved by the Committee on Appropriations on 2017-05-23

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