‘National database system’ pushed to streamline delivery of gov’t services

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has proposed the creation of a National Database System to streamline the delivery of government social services and simplify the process of obtaining common official documents such as NBI clearances and drivers licenses.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian

Gatchalian’s proposed Senate Bill No. 1267, otherwise known as the National Database System Act, would establish a National Database Authority (NDA) under the supervision of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The NDA would be responsible for creating a National Database System that will utilize a single and unique personal reference number, generated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for each registered citizen, which would be used by different government agencies offering front-line services to ensure reliable identification reference.

Among the front-line agencies and government-run corporations prioritized for inclusion in the National Database System are: PSA, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG Fund, Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Office of Consular Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“The objective of the bill is really to collate all this personal information in one single database — the national ID is only an offshoot of the merging of the database. What is important here is to align what the other proposals tend to create — a single database with a single reference number,” said Gatchalian during the first hearing of the Subcommittee on National Identification System, which has been tasked to tackle the bills filed by several senators to create a national ID system.

Gatchalian also stressed the need to address P6-billion worth of leakages in the delivery of social services (about 10 percent of the total allocated) brought about by the lack of a unified database.

“In the tax reform and budget bills we are giving close to P60 billion to people in dire need of social services, pero dahil wala pa yung ID hindi natin alam kung saan sila nakatira, saan sila lumilipat, ano ang kanilang pangalan. It’s very difficult to track down every single poor family in the country.”

Additionally, he debunked the invasion of privacy issues which surround the proposed bill: “This is a prehistoric mentality. Every time we open an account in social media, we already give out our personal information. With this bill we’re giving our personal information to our government.”

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