The proposed National ID System law, which gathers all personal information of a person in one card, was passed last week by the House of Representatives.
However, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the measure poses security threats to citizens.
House Bill 5060 or the Filipino Identification System Act mandates all Filipino citizens to secure an identification card that has the photograph, name, birth date, gender and signature of the owner.
The ID card may only be replaced when a child reaches the legal age of 18, when there is a change in name, family name by virtue of court order or by application of law and when ID card is lost or destroyed. Filipino cardholders are required to renew their IDs upon reaching the age of 60.
The ID card will be presented in all government transactions, including applications for passport and driver’s license; applications for any services and benefits offered by the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Home Development Mutual Fund; and applications for clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation, courts, prosecutor and the police. It will also serve as proof of identity, status, age, address for admission in all learning institutions. It can be used for employment purposes or in transactions in banking and financial institutions.
“The bill looks up to the national ID systems of other countries such as the US, but we all know about the horror stories of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) surveillance and mishandling. A national ID system will make it mandatory for all to submit personal information to be aggregated into a single dossier which, if compromised, places the Filipino people at very high personal risk,” Zarate said in a statement.
“Our automated elections, down to indelible ink, are unreliable. What more of the [safekeeping]of the personal information of every Filipino?” he added.
“The problem of red tape doesn’t lie in the Filipino citizens. Our offices have insufficient manpower, which is aggravated given the massive rationalization program being implemented in many, if not all, of our agencies. A National ID System would add expense and burden to the masses when the answer lies in proper spending for the basic social services we are providing,” Zarate said.