National ID can help curb terrorism: Malacañang

Aside from easing the delivery of social services, the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or national ID system will contribute to curbing terrorism, Malacañang said on Thursday.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said PhilSys would help prevent identity theft that would make it more difficult to commit crimes and acts of terrorism.

“Malaki po maitutulong niyan. In fact, kailangan natin ng ID system hindi lamang sa laban sa terorismo dahil malalaman na natin kung ang tunay na identity ng isang tao, maiiwasan na po yung mga fake identity (It would be a big help. In fact, we need the ID system not just to fight terrorism but also to find out the real identity of a person to prevent the proliferation of fake identities),” Roque said.

He reiterated the importance of having a large database for all Filipinos to expedite the delivery of food aid or financial support to vulnerable sectors.

“Nakakatulong din ang national ID system sa pag-distribute ng ayuda para wala nang double beneficiaries (The national ID system can also help in the distribution of aid to ensure there are no double beneficiaries),” Roque said.

He noted that PhilSys would also make it easier to identify those availing of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) benefits.

Last June 18, Roque said the immediate implementation of PhilSys is President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority.

The President, he said, is convinced that there would be no more delays in the distribution of financial assistance to poor Filipino households once PhilSys is fully activated.

Duterte earlier expressed frustration over the delays in the release of the first wave of payouts for low-income families affected by the implementation of the quarantine restrictions in the country due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a public address aired on April 14, Duterte said the PhilSys would have fast-tracked the distribution of emergency relief to indigent families under the national government’s social amelioration program (SAP) during the Covid-19 crisis.

The President signed RA 11055 on Aug. 6, 2018, to give Filipino citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines a valid proof of identity by having a PhilID, the national identification card under the PhilSys.

The government, however, has yet to fully implement RA 11055.

Under the law, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry, will collate the full name, sex, birthdate, address, citizenship, and blood type of Filipino citizens and encode them in a centralized database.

The law ensures that the individual’s right to privacy is protected.

Roque’s statement came as the controversial anti-terrorism bill is just a signature away from becoming a law.

Duterte is currently waiting for inputs from the Office of the Executive Secretary before reading the measure himself.

The Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and the Department of Justice have already submitted their feedback to the President.

Earlier, Roque said Duterte is “inclined” to sign the bill. (PNA)

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