MALACAÑANG on Thursday said it was studying a plan to establish a national identification system as a measure to check terrorism.
In a news conference, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the establishment of a national ID system was “being considered.”
The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) is pushing for such a measure in Congress, Abella said.
“That seems to be the general tendency, the general direction, yes,” he told reporters, when asked if the Duterte administration would push for the passage of a national ID system.
“We’ll see what happens…It’s part of the, in terms of being pushed in the PLLO, I mean in the legislation,” he added.
Several proposals have been made in past congresses to establish a national ID system, but these failed because of strong opposition from various sectors over privacy concerns.
The Arroyo administration rolled out the optional Unified Multi-Purpose Identification or UMID card scheme in 2010 that could be used with the Social Security System, the Government Service Insurance System, the Home Development Mutual or Pag-IBIG Fund and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
During his meeting with the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia last week, President Rodrigo Duterte said the idea of the Philippines having a national ID system was “good.”
“It’s also pending in Congress,” Duterte said in response to a query from an overseas Filipino worker who was seeking the establishment of a national ID system similar to that of Saudi Arabia.
“We’re working on it because it’s good,” the President added.
Duterte’s ally, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, earlier filed a bill to integrate all government IDs into a single ID system.
Under Arroyo’s House Bill No. 696, all Filipino citizens would be issued an ID Card that could be used in public and private transactions in the country.
“Every Filipino, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, is mandated to register personal information required by the ID system, and upon application shall be issued a non-transferable Filipino ID card with an ID number that shall be valid for life, subject to replacement only under [some]circumstances,” Arroyo said.