by Genalyn Kabiling
It is time to “get our act together” and support the proposed national identification system to help streamline public and private transactions and protect the nation from security threats, a Malacañang official has said.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has urged the public to trust the government in setting up a single national ID database as he dispelled concerns it might violate the right to privacy.
“I think the national ID system is very good for us Filipinos. Siguro mayroong mga kababayan natin na ayaw din sapagka’t ang mga rason nila iyong kanilang privacy, etc but we just have to trust the government,” he said in a recent radio interview.
“Talagang panahon na talaga na we must all get our act together,” he added.
Andanar acknowledged that it was natural for some people to worry about the national ID system but he noted that the country now faces challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism.
He added that the national ID system would help protect people from these cross-border threats. With the ID system, he noted, the government could verify the identities of the people.
“We also have to accept the fact na bago na iyong reality ng ating lipunan ngayon. Mayroon tayong mga challenges na kailangan na ting ma-solve tulad nga ng terrorism, violent extremism,” he said.
“Kung lahat kasi ng Filipino ay mayroong national ID, ibig sabihin, alam natin … we can take (into) account kung sinong nasa bansa at kung sino nasa labas ng bansa at kung sino ang pumapasok na hindi naman talaga Filipino,” he said.
Apart from security purposes, Andanar said the proposed national ID system would help streamline and simplify public and private transactions especially for overseas Filipino workers.