There are enough safeguards in the law to protect their privacy, assured Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, the principal author of the Philippines Identification System Act on Wednesday as he underscored that the law’s main objective is to enhance the delivery of basic services to the public.
“The law has enough safeguards to protect the sanctity of the individual’s information and protect their right to privacy,” Drilon said.
“It protects against unlawful disclosure of information and punishes those who will subvert the system for unlawful ends,” he added.
As the author and principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson also said the national ID system is more incentive rather than punitive in its intent and purpose.
“Having said that, more than the security and other similar considerations, this law is designed for the government to provide more efficient social services to our people, not to mention the convenience and ease that our people can transact business with government agencies as well as private entities,” he said.
“Once fully implemented, our people will appreciate how easy and convenient it is for them to deal with their day to day activities,” added Lacson.
Drilon sought to allay public’s fears as Malacanang announced the pilot testing of the national ID system will begin in September.
Drilon noted that the law would ensure efficient delivery of service and ease transactions with government agencies.
With a national ID system in place, he said it would be easier for individuals seeking basic services from the government to identify themselves and for agencies, both public and private, to verify the information.
“We provided a balance between enhancing the system of legal identification for better service delivery and protecting the right to privacy. The type of information collected and the purposes for which they may be used is limited,” Drilon said.
He explained that the data that will be included in the national ID system would not be different from the information that is currently present in all government-issued IDs.
The senator also said that the law would not affect data privacy as the pertinent provisions of the Data Privacy Act will still apply. He also said that the law had nothing to do with the non-passage by the 17thCongress of the proposed amendments to human security.
Under the new law, a Common Reference Number (CRN) will be given to all Filipinos containing essential information such as full name, address, date, and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, CRN and date of card issuance, along with a recent photo.
He emphasized that the CRN/ID can be used by a citizen in its transactions with all branches of the government, thereby making it more convenient for Filipinos to avail of government services.
The ID will also be honored when transacting with certain private institutions, like banks, he noted.
Filipinos living and working abroad can register at the embassy or consular offices in their countries of the location to get their assigned CRN.
“Today, you open a wallet and you will find a driver’s license, a voter’s ID, an SSS/GSIS ID, Philhealth ID, Tax Identification Number card, among others. Once the National ID is distributed to every single Filipino here and abroad, transactions will be made easier and faster,” Drilon said.