SENATOR Panfilo Lacson is proposing the consolidation of all biometrics data, which some government agencies have gathered to cut the projected P3 billion cost in implementing the proposed national identification system.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the government has to “start all over again” in terms of gathering biometrics. The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, headed by Lacson, conducted a public hearing on 11 pending measures calling for the establishment of a national ID system.
Lacson said that the Social Security System (SSS), Commission on Elections (Comelec), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) spent public funds to “capture the biometrics of so many millions of Filipinos.”
“Baka p’wede i-consolidate, integrate, para makamenos sa gastos (Why not consolidate, integrate them to save funds),” Lacson said in a chance in interview.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon allayed fears that the ID system would compromise the citizens’ rights to privacy, saying the bill’s main objective is to enhance the delivery of basic services in the country.
“We want to debunk for the record the claim that the bill may affect data privacy as the pertinent provisions of the Data Privacy Act will still apply,” Drilon said during the Senate Committee on Public Order’s hearing on the proposed measure.
He said that the bill should not be viewed as a threat to security as its main objective was “to ensure efficient delivery of service and ease transactions with government agencies.
“There will be proper safeguards so as not to interfere with the individual’s right to privacy. It will also be ensured that unscrupulous persons will not have access to confidential information,” Drilon said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO