The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is pushing for the implementation of the government’s national identification (ID) system to streamline relief distribution to groups that are still under threat from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

“The task force is pushing for an expedited delivery of social services to the most vulnerable groups in the population through the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID cards linked to digital payment systems,” Nograles said in an online speech he gave during a webinar conducted by the Far Eastern University Career and Placement Office on Friday.

“Through PhilSys, the government will have a more reliable registry of vulnerable persons from all databases, resulting in automatic and universal release of aid during national emergencies without the need for applications,” Nograles said.

Even the education sector needed to adapt to the “new normal” through the institutionalization of so-called blended or online learning, flexible learning options such as open high schools, alternative delivery modes and satellites for off-grid areas, he said.

“We’re keeping up with the everyday challenges of Covid-19, and we’re slowly easing in systems that would benefit every Filipino — young and old, student, worker, homemaker [and] entrepreneurs.Let’s all be positive and supportive.

We’re all in this fight together,” he said.

In August 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the national ID system that will harmonize and integrate several government IDs.

The ID card will contain the bearer’s full name, image, date and place of birth, address, fingerprints, marital status and other relevant information.

The ID system aims to promote good governance, enhanced governmental transactions, and a better environment for trade and commerce.

The PhilSys was pilot-tested in several areas in the country. It was halted because of the Luzon-wide quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Nograles said job and employment prospects remained positive even during the coronavirus pandemic “because some businesses are resilient, remain extremely relevant and are in fact booming despite the prevailing global health crisis.”

These fields, he said, included the health and medical sectors, retail, and online services.

“We all need to be persistent and creative. Know what and where to look for employment-wise in these challenging times. No one is immune from the fallout brought by Covid-19,” Nograles said.

The Cabinet secretary also advised fresh graduates to adapt with the demands of the “new normal.”

“May uncertainties lalo na sa ating mga kabataan, pero malaki at marami ring prospects. Expected na may ilang mababahala (There are uncertainties, but there are also prospects. We expect that some may get anxious). Let’s remain optimistic and think there are many opportunities out there,” Nograles said.

“During this period when people are taking all measures to avoid physical contact with others, business could be challenging for the service sector, for instance, but sectors like logistics, medicine and health care and even online retail remain stable and in fact expect steady growth,” he added.

“Now is the best time for you, graduating students and new graduates, to prepare and to re-think your ‘game plan’ on how to adapt with the demands of the ‘new normal’ due to the Covid pandemic,” Nograles said.

He noted that during the pandemic, “new job applicants must be able to properly utilize and take advantage of new Web-based technologies in finding employment.”

“Government is expecting increased demand for professionals who are skilled in information technology, health care, education, logistics and personal assistance services, although there will be a dip in the transport sector and manual labor requirements because of mandated social [or physical] distancing and improving automation in many manufacturing businesses,” Nograles said.