Andanar bats for government printing of national ID

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday expressed hope that the printing of the national identification cards would be a task assigned to the government and not the private sector.

“Well maganda sana kung mapunta iyan sa (It would be good if the task is assigned to) one of our printers – either National Printing Office or APO Production Unit,” Andanar said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas.

Andanar, however, said he was also open to the possibility that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be tasked to print the national IDs considering the requirements for security and confidentiality.

“Pero mayroon ding puwedeng sumali diyan, ang Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. So kailangan iyan dumaan sa proper bidding (But the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can also join. So it needs to go through proper bidding),” he added.

Andanar also emphasized the various benefits of the national ID system including its main objective, which is to make government transactions easier and faster for all Filipinos.

“Alam ninyo, ang pinaka-objective talaga ng national ID para sa akin ay para mas mapadali ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino (You know, the main objective of a national ID is to provide Filipinos with easier transactions),” Andanar said.

The PCOO chief said a national ID could also help curb corruption and red tape, especially for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had to return to the Philippines just to renew their IDs.

“Mas madali para sa isang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na iyong isang OFW na nandoon sa abroad na hindi makauwi ng Pilipinas para makapag-renew ng isang ID, etcetera. So kung mayroon kang national ID, well mas mapadali (It will be easier for Filipinos, especially OFWs, who are abroad and won’t need to return to the Philippines just to renew their ID. With a national ID, it will become easier),” Andanar said.

Andanar also stressed the importance of the national ID in promoting national security, particularly in preventing terror threats.

“So pamamagitan ng national ID ay madali ka nang ma-track ng isang pulis o isang miyembro ng Interpol kung ikaw ba ay Pilipino o hindi (Through the national ID, it will be easier for police or members of Interpol to track if you’re Filipino or not),” he added.

On August 6, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law the Philippine Identification System Act, which seeks to integrate the various government IDs of all citizens and foreign residents in the country.

Duterte earlier allayed fears that the National ID would infringe privacy and the personal data of the Phil-ID holders, noting that the information that will be included in the Phil-ID will not be any different from the information already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and other agencies that gather personal data.

He assured that the PSA will work closely with the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to ensure the national ID system’s privacy and security.

While getting a national ID is not compulsory, it will integrate some 30 redundant government IDs by merging these into a single national ID system.

The PhilID will be a non-transferable card containing on its face the PSN (PhilSys Number), full name, facial image, date of birth, address and fingerprints of the owner.

The PSA earlier said the entire population is expected to be registered at the Philippine ID System (PhilSys) in two to five years.

A pilot launch will take place late this year and a mass rollout in the beginning of 2019, with a target enrollment of 25 million Filipinos on an annual basis, the PSA said.

The PSA will enroll the first one million, who are beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), for initial registration. PNA