IDENTITY

The House of Representatives approved on 2nd reading Wednesday night the bill on the National ID system after intense interpellation resulted in the scrapping of the inclusion of sensitive information in the planned ID system.

Proponents of the bill,, agreed to amend the proposed measure by removing Sections 4 and 7, subsections 34 and 35 with respect to the entries on sensitive information.

On Thursday, opponents of the bill in the Makabayan bloc who interpellated the proponents during the plenary debate reiterated why they are against the bill.

ACT Teachers rep. Antonio Tinio told a press conference, “Kaya natin kinukwestyon at tinututulan dahil ang ID ay nakakabit sa database, tapos sa database na iyon, hindi lang simpleng identification ang hinihingi sayo kundi bukod sa biometric  kasama ang iyong genetic records, DNA, educational records, medical, religious, ideological and philosophical beliefs.  Kaya kung maipasa ang batas na ito, mawawalan na ng saysay ang “right to privacy”. Kasi lahat ng impormasyon kasama ang hindi hinihingi at hindi basta-basta ay maaring ibigay sa gobyerno o isuko.”

Tinio is concerned that, “ Magiging sistema ito ng pag-monitor at pag-control o pagsupil sa taumbayan kung sakali. Madaling maabuso ito. Kaya dapat maging mapagbantay ang mamamayan. 

Tinio also said, “ Bakit kasama yung religious and political beliefs? Sabi nila for convenience ito, pero baka pag-monitor na ito sa kaisipan at paniniwala mo. Di ba mayroon tayong kalayaan na magisip at manalampalataya at magpahayag?

Ito ay malinaw na indikasyon na hindi lang simpleng pampapabilis ng transaksyon ang objective nito kundi surveillance o pagmonitor sa taumbayan.  Pag na monitor mo na mas madali na makontrol. Maa-identify kung sino yung mga kakampi at kaaway na nasa poder at masupil kung kinakailangan. 

Noon, may dossier at profiling. Ngayon, anong kaibahan sa ginagawa ng intelligence agency, ito ay gusto nang gawin sa lahat. 

Kahit pag-aralan natin ang ibang bansa na may national ID, yung lawak o saklaw ng impormasyon nanakapaloob sa bill na ito ay—walang kapantay ito, kasi lahat na sinama.”

Rep. Sol Aragones (3rd district, Laguna), Chairperson of the Committee on Population and Family Relations, and Arnolfo Teves (3rd district, Negros Oriental) defended the proposed measure for four hours from the interpellations of five partylist Representatives namely Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna), Antonio Tinio and France Castro (ACT Teachers), Sarah Jane Elago (Kabataan), Arlene Brosas (Gabriela) and Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis).

 

Aragones and Teves allayed the concerns of the partylist representatives on its supposed invasion to privacy and redundancy saying it will help address terrorism because it could prevent the use of false identities, fraudulent transactions, and misrepresentations.

Aragones pointed out that FilSys will also simplify processes in public services, reduce redundancy and delay in government services and transactions, eliminate multiple government identification system, bring down administrative costs and expenses, promote greater convenience to the public and facilitate private business among others.

She also cited the successful implementation of national ID systems in other countries. It has been pointed out that the Philippines is one of the nine countries in the world that does not have a national ID system.

 House Bill No. 6221, which substituted House Bills Nos. 12, 107, 171, 317, 368, 512, 523, 597, 696, 1267, 1687, 1711, 2001, 2167, 2338, 3425, 3448 and 4167, establishes the Philippine Identification System or FilSys. Former President and Pampanga Rep. Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the author of HB No. 696.

Under the proposed measure, all Filipinos, 18 years old and above, both in the Philippines and abroad, are required to register under the FilSys. They will be issued a non-transferrable FilID card with the corresponding Common Reference Number (CRN) which will be permanent.

The FilID shall serve as the official government-issued identification document of a cardholder in dealing with national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs) as well as private entities and organizations. No other ID will be required.

The issuance of the FilID will be free of charge. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will manage the implementation of the system including its database in cooperation with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Privacy Commission (NPC).The law penalizes a person who uses fraudulent information in the FilSys as well as disclose any information on the system without any authority. The bill will be submitted to the plenary on third and final reading in the coming days.

(sots Makabayan bloc)