Solon tells gov’t CIOs: National ID system will be secure

There will be sufficient safeguards to ensure the security and integrity of the national identification (ID) system, according to a lawmaker who is one of the major sponsors of the bill on the national ID.

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Marisol “Sol” Aragones-Sampelo, chairperson of the Committee on Population and Family Relations in the House of Representatives, made the assurance to government chief information officers (CIOs) during their year-end general membership meeting held recently at the Crowne Plaza in Quezon City.

Speaking before members of the CIO Forum, an organization of heads of ICT offices and departments in government, Aragones-Sampelo also asked participants to help ensure that “perceived risks that often accompany new technologies will not deter the country from adopting them in implementing the national ID system.”

It may be recalled that House Bill 6221, which seeks to establish a “Filipino Identification System” or “FilSys” was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2017. The Senate hopes to pass its counterpart bill during the first quarter of 2018.

In anticipation of its passage into law next year, the Philippine Statistics Authority, as lead implementing agency, has been initially allotted P2 billion in the 2018 national budget to implement the FilSys.

Eliseo Rio Jr., undersecretary and officer-in-charge of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, said the DICT supports and will help ensure the successful implementation of the ID system nationwide.

Rio, a former brigadier general in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission, spoke of current efforts to improve and speed up Internet access throughout the country.

This will allow Filipinos to access or avail of government services wherever they are, he said.

Expressing full support to President Duterte’s desire to allow one or two additional players in the telecommunications industry, Rio said the entry of more telecommunications providers will spur greater competition, resulting in improved services and lower telecom cost in the country.

Aragones-Sampelo and Rio were keynote speakers during the CIO Forum event, which had as its theme, “Forging and Securing the Filipino Identity in the Cloud.” It was the fourth and culminating event for the year of the CIO Forum.

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