Lacson: National ID system in place by June



Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday confirmed that the bicameral conference committee has approved the proposed law establishing a Philippine Identification System.

Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and author and sponsor of the bill, said the House of Representatives agreed to adopt the Senate version “with minor amendments.”

The bicam approved the final version of the measure on Tuesday night.

“The House contingent just wanted to remove the word ‘foundational’ and ‘functional’. It has been removed. But the content, the substance, foundational pa rin,” Lacson told reporters in an interview.

“Remember that during our floor deliberations, there are only two important questions that need to be answered: Who are you? And are you who you claim to be?”

“So the other additional requirements are no longer important because after all, we have these functional IDs that can be used to back up your national ID,” he said.

The national ID will serve as legal proof of identity for multiple purposes and will be a non-transferable card containing the very basic demographic and biometric data of every Filipino citizen and resident alien.

Holders of a PhilID can present these in their transactions whether in government agencies and or private institutions.

“For example, when you go to a bank, or Pag-IBIG, or LTO (Land Transportation Office), all you have to do is show your ID and or your number. They can easily check either online or offline if you really are the one in the ID. So the transactions would be faster, whether it’s with government, public or private,” he added.

Once the enrolled bill has been ratified by both houses of Congress, the measure will immediately be transmitted to Malacañang for President Duterte’s approval.

“It must be signed within 30 days. If he does not sign it in 30 days, it will lapse into law. So, give or take by June end or before end of June, this is already a law,” he said.

Lacson said he hopes that President Duterte will report on the national ID law in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) set in the last Monday of July.

“I hope so. This is a landmark legislation. It’s been languishing in both Houses for 18 years. This was controversial during the time of then President Fidel V. Ramos because it was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional simply because it needs to be legislated and an executive order is insufficient,” the senator pointed out.

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Written by Rafael Bandayrel

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