THE House of Representatives on Friday approved on third and final reading the proposed National Identification System despite opposition from some lawmakers.
Voting 142-7, the House passed House Bill 6221 that seeks to establish an identification system that will provide official identification to every citizen.
The bill is also known as the “Filipino Identification System,” and it would establish a National Identification Database System to be known as the Filipino Identification System or FilSys.
One of the bill’s oppositors, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, was apprehensive over the plan to put up a National ID System.
She said this might be used in the war on drugs through “intensified surveillance” and “state profiling.”
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao called the bill an “authoritarian measure.”
“It will transform our country into a police state where the people will be under constant shadowing by government agents, which would be a gross violation of the right to privacy, liberty, safety, security and life,” Casilao said.
De Jesus and Casilao are both members of the left-leaning Makabayan Bloc.
But the bill’s proponents led by former speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the Filipino Identification System would cause all citizens to be responsible for their well-being and accountable for their actions.
Belmonte said the Philippines was one of only nine countries in the world without a national identification system.
“The bill seeks to address this deficiency and institutionalize the Filipino Identification System,” said Belmonte, chairman of the committee on the West Philippine Sea.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua last month said the government was set to allot P2 billion for the roll-out in 2018 of the National ID System and that 105 million Filipinos could benefit from it by 2020.
Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs, described the Filipino Identification System as a progressive, economic and social tool to identify all Filipino citizens.
Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga said the establishment of a unified identification system would enhance the integrity and reliability of government-issued identification cards in private transactions and prevent the violation of laws.
Under the bill, every Filipino, upon reaching the age of 18, will have to register to receive a non-transferable Filipino ID Card with a CRN that will be valid for life.
CRN, or the Common Reference Number, refers to the unique and permanent identification number specifically issued to an individual upon successful enrollment into the CRN Registry administered by the Philippines Statistics Authority in coordination with other implementing agencies.