House OKs nat’l ID system on 3rd reading

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)


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