Some 7 million Filipinos, who are mostly beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer program, including indigenous peoples (IPs), will be the initial holders of the national ID.
This was disclosed by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) head Lisa Grace S. Bersales during the round table discussion hosted by financial technology firm FinTQ in its office in Mandaluyong City Tuesday, Nov. 13.
The Philippine Identification System Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 2018, establishes a central database for all Filipinos.
Under the 2018 national budget, the national ID system has been allocated a P2-billion fund, which was included in the PSA budget for 2019.
Bersales said the national ID system “will give dignity to our people.” “[It is] something that we really need to do to our people,” she said, citing that to date, about 7 percent of Filipinos do not have birth certificates while about 66 percent of deceased Filipinos do not have death certificates.
She said most of those who do not have death certificates are Muslims, whose tradition calls for the dead to be buried within 24 hours after death, and those who are living in far-flung areas.
She said the national ID system cannot address this issue yet but it can do something about having their birth registered.
For the implementation of the national ID, Bersales said they are now working with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) for the proof of concept.
“We already have a design of concept. We will test it starting January (2019),” Bersales said, noting that the procurement of the IDS to be used will be done in June next year, ideally through a competitive bidding, while the roll-out of the IDs will start by September next year — a year after the measure was signed into law.
Bersales said they are targeting to issue national IDs to all living Filipinos by 2023.
For babies, the PSA chief said they need to be registered while biometrics can be done when they are already five years old or before they start formal schooling or late teens.
Bersales also said they plan to do a privacy impact assessment and a vulnerability test while in the process of doing the proof of concept.
She added that while “we can never be 100 percent sure” on the security of the national ID, the PSA will work with the Department of Information and Technology (DICT), the National Privacy Commission, the National ID Council, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to ensure that data collected by the agency will be safe.
“We are doing our best to do the data privacy by design,” she said, adding that data to be gathered are similar to those asked by social media groups. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)