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What You Should Know Now About The National ID System

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the National ID System into Philippine law. The law ratifies the creation of a nationwide database of everyone’s information—PhilSys, so it’s to be called. It’s a monumental law and a massive undertaking—and one that is marred with controversy, with many on sides both for and against clamoring for their respective positions.

Love it, loathe it, fear it—whatever your position may be, the National ID System has been signed and it’s coming. Be informed with the following facts about this new system.

 

 

1. Do other countries have a National ID System?

The Philippines isn’t a rarity for implementing a National ID System. In fact, most other countries have a National ID System, making the Philippines one of the last countries to sign one into law.

 

2. Does everyone have to sign up?

To put yourself into the system, you’ll have to present your birth certificate to PhilSys. According to the newly signed law, everyone in the Philippines is going to have to register with PhilSys. Anyone born after the law is implemented will be automatically placed into PhilSys.

 

3. Do I get anything after joining PhilSys?

Yes! After signing up with PhilSys, you will be given an identification card identifying you as part of PhilSys. This card serves as a government-issued document. You’ll also be given your own PhilSys Number, a number that will be unique to you.

 

4. What are they putting into the system?

Information includes: demographic data such as your name, sex, date and place of birth, blood type, address of residence, nationality, marital status and contact details; and your biometrics, including a photograph of your face and scans of your iris and fingerprints.

 

 

5. What can I do with the ID?

The PhilID you’ll be given upon joining the PhilSys can be used for various government and private services. Usage includes applying for welfare; applying for GSIS, SSS, and other government agencies; applying for passports and licenses; sorting out taxes; voting and registration; applying for school; opening bank accounts; verifying criminal records; and other services listed in the National ID System law.

 

6. Who’ll be running the system?

The National ID System will be run and managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority. The PSA is run by National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Lisa Bersales.

 

7. Is my data safe?

According to what’s written in the law, the only way for anyone to access the information stored within PhilSys is if the owner of said information gives consent, or if a court of law deems it necessary that it be accessed.

 

Photo From Unsplash.com

 

8. What are the arguments for having this system?

There are many proponents for a National ID System with a wide range of arguments defending the law. Among the biggest arguments is that it’ll help streamline a lot of government services, particularly for those members of society who have difficulty availing of them.

 

9. What are the arguments against it?

Like any contentious laws and government actions, there are many arguments against having a National ID System. A huge worry is the privacy of the information, with many concerned that such a wealth of personal data could be misused or mishandled which could lead to massive violations of privacy.

 

Photo From ABS-CBN News

 

10. So they’ve signed the law – when will it take effect?

While the President may have signed the law, the actual system won’t be implemented until 2019. In the meantime, the Philippine Statistics Authority will be running pilot tests in selected regions across the Republic.

 

With all the goings-on within the country, it’s important to remain up-to-speed with the latest advancements. The National ID System is one of them. Keep these pointers in mind as the new system is rolled out over the coming months.

 

Thumbnail photo from ABS-CBN News

Cover photo by James Mangalile