Just this Monday, August 6, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law mandating a single national identification for the country alongside the signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Dubbed as Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, a single ID with an embedded microchip can be used to transact with the government and other establishments like banks and financial institutions.
The law enumerates them as:
Applying for social welfare and benefits
Applying for services offered by the GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig, and other government agencies
Applying for passport and driver’s licenses
Registration and voting identification purposes
Applying for schools, colleges, universities, and other learning institutions Applying for employment and other related transactions
Opening bank accounts and other transactions with banks and financial institutions
Verifying criminal records and clearances
Other transactions defined in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR)
Back then, it’s hard to apply to these services for those without a valid ID. People who are unemployed or who are poverty-stricken have no valid identification to present when they opt to avail of some of the transactions above.
And it will surely help in integrating our ID-less brethren when applying for banking services as BSP strictly requires at least one government-issued ID to be presented. Maybe, it can even help in solving why a majority of Filipinos don’t have bank accounts.
What Data Are Collected?
This is now possible with the comprehensive data gathered from the individual. The law established the Philippine ID System or PhilSys for the data gathering on all residents and resident aliens in our country.
The personal data to be collected includes your name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, address, blood type, citizenship and multiple biometric data such as facial image, fingerprints, iris scan, and other features if necessary. It’s also optional to include your mobile number and email address.
Afterward, you are given a physical national ID or Phil-ID with a unique and randomly generated Common Reference Number (CRN).
This is like your citizen number where data will be available in government agencies even if you forgot your physical ID. You just have to relay your CRN and the information will be there.
The difference from the Unified Multi-purpose ID (UMID) is everyone even unemployed individuals and indigenous peoples can get one. OFWs can also sign up for their ID at the nearest embassy or consular office in their area.
Registration for the ID is also free of charge.
Concerns for Data Privacy
Some groups oppose this bill with the threat of Data leaks and privacy issues. But the President assures the opposite.
“Let me be very clear about this: The information that will be included in the Phil-ID will not be any different from the information already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority or the former NSO, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, COMELEC, and other agencies that gather personal data.”
And he reiterated that streamlining this process would further reduce red tape and corruption. Probably a supplement to the Ease of Doing Business Act.
“There is, therefore, no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal.”
“If at all, 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.”
The government allocated a P2 Billion budget for the initial rollout of the program. The project will be headed by the Philippine Statistics Authority and will be implemented on select regions starting 2019.