DBM chief says national ID system already has P2-B budget

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) secretary Benjamin Diokno said he is “pretty optimistic” that the proposed national ID system would be approved and passed into law.

In a briefing Wednesday, March 21, Diokno noted that the Senate approved last Monday, March 19, its version of the measure authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson. The House of Representatives approved its version of the bill in September last year.

Diokno said he is hopeful that lawmakers “will use the (Lenten) break to resolve their differences” on the proposed measure.

“I think there are no major disagreements between the House version and the Senate version. So again, probably as soon as they convene, they will just ratify it,” he said.

“In the meantime, we’re doing all the work we can do to push the national ID system. As you know, there’s already a budget for that, P2 billion, in the 2018 budget,” he added.

Earlier, Diokno said the budget was given to the Philippine Statistics Authority as an allocation for its implementation within a year after being signed into law.

He said beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer program will be the initial beneficiaries of the proposed national ID system.

The ID will carry information on the holder’s demographic details such as name, gender, date of birth, place of birth and address, and will reduce the need for at least 33 sectoral IDs currently being issued by various government agencies.

Even foreigners who are residents of the Philippines will have their own national ID under the program, according to Diokno.

Diokno said the government wants to tap a third party to help in the initial implementation of the ID system, which will eventually be maintained by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The ID will not be sophisticated but will use biometrics using scans of all 10 fingers as well as the irises, he said, noting that it will be called foundational ID and has a higher ranking than the existing unified multi-purpose ID (UMID). — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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