President Duterte signs new national identity card act into law

identity card
President Duterte signs the Philippine Identification System Act into law today. Picture via Presidential Communications.

President Duterte has signed into law the Philippine Identification System Act, which mandates IDs for all citizens and foreign residents.

As well as signing Republic Act 11055 today (Monday, August 6), the president also presented the Bangsamoro Organic Law to Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim at the Malacañang Palace.

In a speech, he said: “Today, I signed into law the Philippine Identification System Act, a measure that will establish a national identification system that will provide good governance, enhance governmental transactions and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce to thrive.” 

At present, government-issued IDs include the Unified Multi-Purpose ID or UMID issued to the members of the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System; Philippine Health Insurance Corporation; Tax Identification Number; and the Home Development Mutual Fund.

The president said the new National ID system or “Phil-ID” seeks to promote the efficient delivery of services and to lessen corruption and red tape in government.

“This will not just enhance administrative governance but reduce corruption, curtail bureaucratic red tape, and promote the ease of doing business, but also avert fraudulent transactions, strengthen financial inclusion, and create a more secure environment for our people,” he said.

The president allayed fears peddled by some groups that the National ID would infringe privacy and personal data of holders.

“Let me be very clear about this: The information that will be included in the Phil-ID will not be any different from the information already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority or the former NSO, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, COMELEC, and other agencies that gather personal data,” he said.

He added that the Philippine Statistics Authority would closely with the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all concerns pertaining to privacy and security.

“There is therefore no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal.

“If at all, the Phil-ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

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