Malacañang said that the public has nothing to worry about when their information is consolidated in one database as there are laws that would safeguard their data, as President Duterte signed the much-anticipated Philippine ID System in Malacañang yesterday afternoon.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque expressed confidence that the PhilSys would pass the test of constitutionality.
“I would like to assure the people that unlike the national ID bill which was earlier declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because, in Ople v Executive Secretary, because there were no safeguards to protect the database, this time around, there is a privacy law and in the law itself, it specified that the government has the obligation to promote the data gathered because of the national ID system,” Roque said. “That’s why we are confident that this time around it will pass the test of constitutionality,” he added.
According to the Palace official, the signing of the PhilSys forms part of the common legislative agenda of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.
“As we all know, the President is averse to bureaucratic red tape. Through PhilSys, we hope to improve efficiency and transparency of public services and promote ease of doing business,” he said. “The Palace is pleased that millions of Filipinos will soon enjoy the benefits of the Philippine Identification System Act,” Roque added.
Roque lauded the signing of the PhilSys as it would mean that people would no longer have to present or carry multiple IDs to prove his identity. “For the ordinary Juan de la Cruz, the signing of this Act means that he will no longer have to present multiple identification cards simply to prove his identity,” he said.
The Palace official also said that having a national ID system would help strengthen the security and prevent identity theft.
“This will, No. 1, promote national security po because we will have a database of all Filipinos,” Roque said. “No. 2, this will prevent identity theft. Alam niyo naman po ngayon isa sa pinakamalaking problema natin ‘yung identity theft na nangyayari lalong-lalo na sa Internet,” he added. (Argyll B. Geducos)