SEN. Panfilo Lacson on Monday sought the passage of the bill that seeks to establish a national ID (identification) system, which would serve as a “legal proof” of identity for multiple purposes.
Lacson sponsored the passage of Senate Bill 1738 under Committee Report 277. Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Justice, asked him to conduct the public hearings on the matter on his behalf since he is tied up with other investigations.
Lacson said that the national ID system, to be known as the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys, will have three key components: the PhilSys Number or PSN, the PhilID, and the PhilSys Registry.
SB 1738 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.”
“Likewise, there shall be a PhilID, a non-transferable card containing on its face the PSN, full name, facial image, date of birth, address and some fingerprints of the individual in whose favor it was issued,” Lacson said.
Minors, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and persons in institutional households can also apply for the ID.
The senator said that while it is practical to collect data beyond basic information, the committee maintains that indiscriminate data collection may pose risks to individual privacy.
“Hence, data collected by the Philippine Registry shall be limited to demographic information such as name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, and address,” Lacson said.
“Other information such as mobile number and e-mail address of the cardholder are optional. Biometrics information to be collected also include facial image, full set of fingerprints, iris scan and if necessary, other identifiable features of an individual as may be determined,” he added.
Under SB 1738, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry, a repository and custodian of all data including the PSN, registered records, and information of all persons registered in the PhilSys.
The bill also creates a PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council (PSPCC), with the mandate to formulate policies and guidelines to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the PhilSys.
“An important feature of this proposed legislation is the concept of authentication or the process of verifying, whether online or offline, the identity of an individual against the registry information in the PhilSys or PhilID,” Lacson said.
“We understand that a robust ID system is built on the trust of our people. Hence, in crafting the Philippine ID system, we put primacy in protecting privacy and user rights of individuals by establishing strong legal frameworks and institutional accountability,” he added.