THE government aims to start implementing the National ID System (NIS) this year, with a budget allocation of P2 billion.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Special Concerns Marie Rafael-Banaag disclosed this during the 6th Cordillera Civil Registration Training Course in Baguio City on Friday.
In her lecture, Banaag told local civil registrars that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) would establish the program, together with 15 other agencies, including the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the PCOO.
Banaag said the Local Civil Registry offices would also play an important role as they are tasked with registering births, deaths, marriages, and the like.
Banaag said Congress passed House Bill 6221 in September 2017, while the Senate passed House Bill 5060 in March 2018. Both bills are now in the bicameral committee for consolidation. After that, she said, the President is expected to sign the consolidated version into a law.
Congress approved the bill with a vote of 142 to 7. Senate approved it, voting 17 to 2.
The NIS is a consolidation of the existing government-initiated ID system into one integrated system that can be used to verify the identities of individuals in availing of public services or engaging in using public transportation.
Banaag said once it is implemented, it can be used in transactions with all branches of government, making it more convenient for citizens to avail of public services.
With the passage of both bills, it will institutionalize a national information card for all Filipinos.
The system calls for the establishment of National Identification Database that will gradually synchronize and consolidate all existing government-initiated identification systems into one integrated network.
The national ID would contain a unique Common Reference Number (CRN) that will be given to all Filipinos, along with the owner’s essential information, such as full name, address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, and a recent photo of the person.
“This will streamline the transaction of ordinary people who do not have a lot of government-issued IDs,” Banaag said.
She revealed that the Philippines is one of the nine countries in the world that do not have a single identification system yet.
The first attempt at establishing a universal ID scheme was in 1973.