President Duterte’s signature is the only one needed now to implement the National ID System

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Senator Panfilo Lacson expected that both lower and upper house would ratify the final version of the Philippine Identification System before Monday so it can finally be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte to make it a law.

This is Lacson’s statement after the bicameral conference committee approved the bill that seeking to establish an ID system that would merge all the other government IDs in a single national identification system.

“Not much difference. In fact, substantially, the HOR (House of Representatives) adopted the Senate version,” Lacson said in a text message

According to the law being pushed by Lacson, the national ID system should be known as the Philippine Identification System or Philsys.

It has three components, the PHilsys Number (PSN), the PhilID, and the PhilSys Registry.

The ID would contain the card owner’s face, full name, facial image, address, date of birth and fingerprints. It also non-transferable to ensure that it would not be abused by someone.

“The bill will allow every Filipino and resident alien of the country to be identified with the use of a PhilSys Number or PSN, a randomly generated, unique and permanent identification number which shall be the standard number assigned to each individual to be incorporated in all identification systems of government agencies,” Lacson said.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to act as the registry of the Philsys, according to the bill.

The Congress would allot P2 billion for the implementation of the National ID System.

However, the National Identification System has been opposed by several lawmakers, saying that this bill would remove the Filipino’s “right to privacy.”

“The bill empowers the government to collect and retain from each and every Filipino citizen their personal information of exceptional scope and interest. The information includes, not just the basic personal data, but also ‘sensitive personal information,’ including biometrics (facial image, iris scan, full set of fingerprints), and other identifiable features of an individual,” ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio said.

He believed that the national ID system would be used by President Duterte as a “powerful tool of surveillance, control and, repression over all citizens,”.

“With President Duterte’s emerging dictatorial rule, the deteriorating human rights situation, the increasing number of extrajudicial killings, martial law in Mindanao, a total war in the countryside, and the Duterte regime’s tyrannical rule, the bill may be used against those who criticize and oppose his policies,” Representative France Castro said.

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