With the ratification of the Philippine Identification Systems Act last August 6, 2018, it is expected that millions of Filipinos will benefit from speedier delivery of public service through a unified system of identification for every citizen of the country. Similarly, the new law is expected to help prevent impersonation and fraud perpetrated by some scrupulous individual as the database will include highly specific data such as facial image, biometrics and iris scan, among others.
Filipinos will no longer have to crowd their wallets with all kinds of identification cards with the advent of PhilSys. With the centralized database which will be established through this new enactment, we can do away with separate IDs for GSIS, SSS, TIN, Phil health, Pag-big Funds, and such other proof of identification when transacting with the aforementioned government offices. Proving one’s identity will soon entail only the presentation of one’s PhilID.
We can similarly expect a chain reaction with the implementation of this new law. As it is expected to speed up service delivery and do away with unnecessary requirements and processes, corruption and red-tape are consequently deterred, increasing transparency and accountability among the service providers. Similarly, the implementation of the Philippine Identification System Act will contribute to the achievement of the goal of Republic Act 11032 otherwise known as the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 which amends and expands, so to speak, the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
Alongside the pending formulation of the PilSys Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations, I would like to humbly submit the proposition that upon birth of a Filipino child, he or she will be given his or her unique citizen reference number (CRN) which will be identical to the digits assigned in his or her Certificate of Live Birth. In this way, any Filipino citizen will be using a single and unique citizen reference number upon which all other vital information of the CRN holder will be attached or tagged, and this number will be held by the citizen from birth to his or her demise. The same will be the case for many of us who have been born and are already registered at the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Using the serial number in the birth certificate will greatly help the PSA in starting the work of implementing this new law as the institution is the national repository of civil registry records.
The Philippine Identification Systems Act of 2018 provides Filipinos with renewed hope for positive change in the once red-tape stricken processes of the bureaucracy. I believe that those belonging to the marginalized sector of our society including our elderly should be the first to benefit from this law as they are the ones most in need of our government’s providence. May the forthcoming national ID system not only unify the vital information of millions of Filipinos. May it likewise be an instrument to unify government efforts towards good governance and national inclusive growth.
-Francis N. Tolentino