Nat’l ID system to deter illegal activities of rebels, criminals: AFP

A national ID system will greatly help in restricting the illegal activities of insurgents and criminals. This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato in a message to reporters Tuesday.

“The national ID (system) is a very important aspect of national security. It removes the insurgents’ and criminals’ advantage of anonymity,” he added. Also, it will also restrict the latters’ movement and will have an effect on their recruitment and extortion activities, Detoyato pointed out.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act into law in Malacañang on Monday.

Under the measure, a foundational ID system, dubbed PhilSys, will be in place. It will have three components: the PhilSys Number (PSN), PhilID and PhilSys Registry.

PSN is a randomly generated, unique and permanent identification number for each individual, to be incorporated in all identification systems of government agencies. It will remain with the person even after death. PhilID is a non-transferable card with the PSN and basic information.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry. Under the national ID law, the PSA will collate the full name, sex, birthdate, address, citizenship and blood type of Filipino citizens and encode them in a centralized database.

The law ensures that the individual’s right to privacy is protected.

As provided under the new law, information may only be released when the registered person has given his or her consent, specific to the purpose prior to the processing; when the compelling interest of public health or safety so requires, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure; upon order of any competent court; and when a registered person requests from the PSA access to his or her registered information and record history, subject to the guidelines and regulations to be issued by the PSA.

AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo, meanwhile, echoed Detoyato’s remarks.

“We believe it will promote a peaceful and secure environment where terrorists, criminals, and other unscrupulous individuals will have a difficulty coping to pursue their evil designs and nefarious activities,” Arevalo said in a statement.

Arevalo believes the law will prevent lawless elements from obtaining false and multiple identities to carry out illegal activities.

He also added that the measure will greatly help law enforcers in distinguishing criminals from law-abiding citizens.

“They (criminals) will remain in hiding and cannot avail of the mandated identification card lest they be exposed to arrest and prosecution. They will lose their freedom of movement; their ability to transact business will be divested with no ID cards to present when demanded,” the military spokesperson noted.

“We also believe that the ID system shall facilitate government transactions and programs like census, promote transparency, and likewise spare our people from the burden of bringing with them several identification cards to establish their identities,” he added. PNA