A party-list congressman on Friday said registration for the National Identification System should start before June 30 to facilitate the delivery of assistance to people adversely affected by lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A more functional national ID can save lives, Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero said, adding that the ID card’s last digits could be used for quarantine to determine who can go out of their homes.
“We want a much more functional national ID and system like what Singapore is using to distribute payment or aid to many workers. Despite inherent data limitations of the National ID System or PhilSys, I suggest to acting SocioEconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua that he direct the Philippine Statistics Authority to start mass registration within 60 days or not later than June 30,” said Romero.
Romero said he is also preparing a bill to amend the National ID Law.
“So that the ID can be more useful, especially for selecting and targeting beneficiaries for government aid and services, as a stand-alone ID card. We want a much more functional or useful national ID like that of Singapore’s,” Romero said.
Romero also suggested that mass registration should start in the smaller localities of Metro Manila like Pateros, San Juan, and Marikina. “Mass registration could also be done in select barangays of Quezon City and Manila. Afterward, sign-ups can expand to other localities. “This way, we get something done fast or target the low-hanging fruits first.”
In a statement, Romero also listed what he said were the shortcomings of the National IDF Law or Republic Act 11055, inluding “serious data limitations, ” because “as it is designed now, the PhilSys or National ID System can only be used to ascertain the identity of recipients of COVID-19 cash grants and other assistance. There are no income, employment, or other status information authorized to be collected for the PhilSys.”