The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Thursday, Jan. 21, its officials who were included in a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the procurement of cards for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) will cooperate with its investigation.
“As regards the complaint filed with the Ombudsman relative to the procurement for the printing of cards for the National ID System, rest assured that the BSP officials concerned will respond in the proper forum once required in accordance with applicable rules,” it said in a statement.
The BSP said it “supports the rollout of the National ID as it is key to wider financial inclusion that promotes shared economic growth and the financial wellbeing of Filipinos.”
The statement was released a day after news reports said an anti-corruption group, Stop Corruption Philippines Inc. (SCOPI), filed a case for an alleged anomalous contract in the bidding for equipment and materials for the Philippine Identification Cards (PhilID).
Named as respondents are BSP governor Benjamin Diokno; Prudence Angelita Kasala, BSP Security Plant Complex (SPC) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chair; Rogel Joseph Del Rosario, BSP director; Carl Cesar Bibat, BSP SPC acting production manager; Marianne Santos, BAC vice chair; and BSP SPC BAC members Salvador Del Mundo, and Giovanni Israel Joson.
According to the complaint, the BSP-SPC BAC erred in giving a specific brand — OVD Kinegram AD — for the technical specifications and terms of reference for the materials of the cards. This, it said, is against the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).
The National ID is targeted to be the foundational ID in the country and is aimed, among others, to increase financial inclusion among Filipinos.
The government has started the roll-out of the first step of the PhilSys registration and it was found that over 82 percent of the more than 10.5 million registrants do not have transaction accounts.
Among the initial registrants to the national ID are the beneficiaries of the government’s cash aid program and adults belonging to the lower bracket of the society. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)