It has been more than a year since we featured House Bill No. 5060 or the Philippine Identification System Act. This is the bill that will require all Filipinos to be issued a national identification card that will serve as their main identification for all government transactions, claims, use of government-mandated benefits, and applying for clearances from the NBI and PNP. At that time, the said bill has just been signed and approved by the House of Representatives and was passed on to the Senate for deliberation.
While the country is eagerly awaiting the finality the National ID System Act, the Department of Finance (DOF) came up with an additional proposal to tap the ID as a means to determine an individual’s privilege to certain subsidies, discounts, and tax exemptions under the law.
How do these additional parameters affect the National ID System’s initial purpose?
Apart from the National ID being an all-in-one valid ID (except as a Driver’s License and Passport), the DOF is proposing that it contain biometrics data to determine a citizen’s entitlement to certain subsidies and benefits provided by the government.
For example, if a PWD is entitled to discounts on medicines, fare, and education, his (national) ID alone should be enough to determine his eligibility for such discounts. Another possibility that the DOF is looking at is to activate an EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip in the card. Through this chip, the card can double as an ATM card where the owner may receive cash subsidies from the government, if he or she is legally entitled to such benefits. It simplifies the identification and benefits disbursement process, both for the government and the recipient.
Do these new proposals affect the anticipated release and distribution of the IDs?
The issuance of the IDs will be done in batches. Since the DOF has expressed its intention of tapping the National ID to address the long process of applying and claiming benefits for individuals with special needs, senior citizens and persons with disabilities are seen to be the first recipients of these IDs. Soon after, members of the 5.2 million poor households that are not yet covered by the conditional cash transfer program of the DSWD will follow.
All in all, the government plans to provide IDs to the more than 100 million Filipinos in two years’ time, after the bill is enacted into law.
Who will issue the IDs?
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall be responsible for the proper issuance of the ID cards.
We will keep this thread updated on the progress of the proposed National ID System. If you have any questions or related information you would like to share, please feel free to send us a message. We will do our best to find the answers for you.