As the country was focused on the debates on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading a mandatory national ID system for the Philippines.
House Bill 5060 creates the Filipino identification System. “The identification system shall provide official identification of all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines through the issuance of the Filipino Identification Card (Filipino ID card). It shall gradually concert and consolidate all existing Government-initiated identification systems into one integrated and efficient identification system.”
It shall have on its face the imprinted photograph, name, birth date, gender, date of issue, signature of owner, the corresponding individual serial number issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and such other data as may be deemed necessary. The Filipino ID card shall also have the capability to store at least the biometric data of the individual cardholder.
The bill mandates the Philippine Statistics Authority with the issuance and management of the system.
“Upon the effectivity of this Act and when the ID system has become operational, every Filipino residing in the Philippines shall apply for the registration and issuance of the Filipino ID card at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) of the city or municipality where one is a resident. Likewise, every Filipino residing abroad shall apply for the registration and issuance of the Filipino ID card at the nearest Philippine Embassy or consular office of the country where they are residing.”
The Filipino ID card shall be presented and honored in transactions requiring the identity, status, birth and all other personal circumstances. When the Filipino ID card is presented to any government agency or for identification purposes, no other additional identification card shall be required.
No person may publish, disseminate or give to third parties or entities including government enforcement agencies any information obtained in connection with the application for the Filipino ID card, including the use thereof except in the following cases:
(a) When the holder of the Filipino ID card expressly authorizes the disclosure of such information to a third person, entity or agency;
(b) In the event of accident, disaster or fortuitous events, when information on the medical history of the holder such as the blood type or special medical needs or other relevant information are needed by medical institutions and health service workers;
(c) When the interest of public health or safety so requires; and
(d) Upon the order of any competent court.
Any information obtained as a result of unlawful disclosure under this Act shall be inadmissible as evidence in any criminal proceedings against the holder of the Filipino ID card.
The PSA, in pursuance of its mandated statistical function, may generate and release aggregated information from the Filipino Citizen Registry in the form of summaries and statistical tables: Provided, That no reference to an individual shall appear and that no person can be readily identified in the released information.
The Filipino ID system bill was among those passed by the lower House recently. Others include the proposed mandatory registration of cellular phone SIM cards House Bill 5231 and the anti-trust law or Philippine Competition Act (House Bill 5286).
All bills passed on 3rd and final reading await action by the Senate. Should a Senate version already be available, the versions of the 2 chambers will be reconciled by a bicameral conference committee. (By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News)