The Philippines: national id card back on track

Two House of Representatives legislators decided to revive the idea of national identification card. Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara and Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo are trying to pass a bill that would establish a unique lifetime identification number for each citizen and all 18 years and older residents of the country to apply for a national id card. The idea is not new and was tried to be passed by Congress multiple times but eventually always rejected mostly due to concerns of violating individual rights. In order to address these concerns a newly proposed bill emphasizes 2 things. Number one the id card will not be mandatory, only ones who want the document will get it. Number two data collected during the application for the card cannot be used against the applicant in a criminal case. Rep. Bichara was cited saying “Any information given in the system shall be considered as privileged and cannot be used as evidence against the holder in any criminal proceedings,”
Currently number of government agencies such as Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) issue identification cards to its subscribers but it’s estimated that around 60% of the adult population lacks any valid identification.
National id card is expected to consolidate other documents and reduce government services benefit fraud.

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