Drilon assures safeguards in National ID

Senator Franklin Drilon.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Wednesday assured Filipinos there are enough safeguards in the national identification law to protect users’ privacy.

“The law has enough safeguards to protect the sanctity of the individual’s information and protect their right to privacy,” Drilon said referring to the Philippines Identification System Act he authored. “It protects against unlawful disclosure of information and punishes those who will subvert the system for unlawful ends.”

“We provided a balance between enhancing the system of legal identification for better service delivery and protecting the right to privacy. The type of information collected and the purposes for which they may be used is limited,” Drilon said.

Drilon issued the statement to allay public’s fears as Malacanang announced the pilot testing of the national ID system in September.

The senator said the law would ensure efficient delivery of service and transaction with government agencies by making it easier for the public to identify themselves. Public and private agencies, likewise, can easily verify the identity of the ID user.

He explained the data to be included in the national ID system would not be different from the information that are currently present in all government-issued IDs.

The senator also stressed the law would not affect data privacy as the pertinent provisions of the Data Privacy Act will still apply. He also said that the law had nothing to do with the non-passage by the 17th Congress of the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act.

Under the new law, a Common Reference Number (CRN) will be given to all Filipinos containing essential information such as full name, address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, CRN and date of card issuance, along with a recent photo.

He emphasized that the CRN/ID can be used by a citizen in its transactions with all branches of the government, thereby making it more convenient for Filipinos to avail of government services. The ID will also be honored when transacting with certain private institutions, like banks, he noted.

Filipinos living and working abroad can register for a CRN at embassy or consular offices with jurisdiction of their location.

“Today, you open a wallet and you will find a driver’s license, a voter’s ID, an SSS/GSIS ID, Philhealth ID, Tax Identification Number card, among others. Once the National ID is distributed to every single Filipino here and abroad, transactions will be made easier and faster,” Drilon said.