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National ID not compulsory – Philippine Statistics Authority

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Dr. Lisa Grace Bersales, national statistician and head of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that the national ID is not mandatory but those who decide not to get one will inevitably face inconvenience in government and business transactions.

Filipinos are not mandated to abide by the Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys) or the National ID Law.Hindi explicit sa law na mandatory ito. No one will be forced to enroll in the National ID System,” Bersales said in a press briefing held at Malacañang.

But she pointed out for the non-holders that they will have difficulty in doing business with the government and the private sector. Because this would be requirement for doing business. “It’s really more about accessing benefits. But if they don’t want to access benefits from government, then they will not really need to have an ID,” she explained.

The PhilSys Act which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (August 6), provides a single national identification system called “Phil ID” which collates citizens’ data in a centralized database.

Many critics are raising fears that the national ID poses risks to the privacy and data security of Filipinos.While she acknowledged such fears, Bersales assured the public that the privacy of national ID holders would be protected.

“I believe that everyone will be compelled to be part of the PhilSys. Number one, because they will be assured that we will follow what the law says,” Bersales said.

The PhilSys Registry Data shall contain the following information, 3 of which may be supplied optionally. These are Demographic data and Biometrics information

a. Demographic data

  1. Full name
  2. Sex
  3. Date of birth
  4. Place of birth
  5. Blood Type
  6. Address
  7. Whether the person is a Filipino citizen or resident alien
  8. Marital status (optional)
  9. Mobile number (optional)
  10. E-mail address (optional)

b. Biometrics information

  1. Front-facing photograph
  2. Full set of fingerprints
  3. Iris scan
  4. If necessary, other identifiable features of an individual as may be determined by the implementing rules and regulations of the law

CAN FILIPINOS LIVING ABROAD ALSO AVAIL OF PHIL ID?

Yes. the PSA said the the Department of Foreign Affairs shall be in charge of providing Phil IDs to Filipinos abroad.

WHERE CAN I USE THE PHIL ID

The PhilID can be used and honored in all transactions requiring proof of a citizen or resident alien’s identity, such as, but not limited to:

  1. Application for eligibility and access to social welfare and benefits granted by the government
  2. Application for services and benefits offered by the GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth, HDMF, and other government agencies
  3. Applications for passports and driver’s license
  4. Tax-related transactions
  5. Registration and voting identification purposes
  6. Admission to any government hospital, health center or similar institution
  7. All other government transactions
  8. Application for admission in schools, colleges, learning institutions and universities, whether public or private
  9. Application for employment purposes
  10. Opening of bank accounts and other transactions with banks and other financial institutions
  11. Verification of cardholder’s criminal records and clearances
  12. Such other transactions, uses or purposes, as may be defined in the IRR

Even President Rodrigo Duterte assured those who have doubt on the intention of the national ID, “There is no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders on illegal,” he said.

Duterte explained, the PSA would work closely with the National Privacy Commission, Department of Information and Communications Technology and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all privacy and security concerns.

He added, “The Phil-ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism. This would also promote good governance, enhance governmental transactions and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce.”

 While there are those who opposed the national ID, there are many who favor this as the government has made it clear about the convenience it will provide for those who have the Phil-ID, whether the transaction is with the government or private sector.

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