NCCP opposes National ID system: No More IDs, please
MANILA, Philippines – Showing their strong opposition to a national ID system, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) released a statement on Thursday, June 7, urging legislators to “be more attuned to responding to the people’s needs," instead of giving them "more burdens to bear.”
It questioned the government’s fixation on another ID system, even with the existence of the Unified Multipurpose ID, a 4-in-one identification card that can be used for transactions with government agencies.
“What we need now is a respite from the incessant increase of the price of basic commodities and access to other basic social services, not to mention relief from corruption and other effects of economic inflation,” NCCP said in a statement.
It further highlighted how the implementation of another ID system could lead to further financial burdens for the poor due to additional costs of its availability. “In addition to the cost, those who cannot avail of it are vulnerable to harassment.”
With the Philippines ranking as the worst in impunity in the 2017 Global Impunity Index, the NCCP cited how there is reason to be concerned, especially when proposed national ID systems in the past were criticized for being “associated with “counterinsurgency or anti-terrorism agents of the state.” (READ: Past attempts at a national ID system: A battleground of privacy, executive power)
The NCCP reminded legislators, “Laws are made for the people’s benefit, and not for their further bondage.”
Several administrations had sought to implement the national ID system in the Philippines. As of the moment, the bill establishing the implementation of the national ID system is pending for signature by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) seeks to become the government’s central identification platform that will provide each registered person a PhilSys number (PSN) – a unique and permanent number to be used when dealing with national government agencies, local government units, and even the private sector.
All Filipino citizens and aliens will be required to register, while those born after the law takes effect will immediately be placed in the system.
The PhilID (Philippine ID) will feature the bearer’s PSN, full name, blood type, date of birth, place of birth, address, and front-facing photograph. Once the bill is signed, PhilSys will be handled by the Philippine Statistics Authority. (READ: What you need to know about the proposed national ID system)
Though the proposed system promises to ease availability of government services, it has raised various concerns about data surveillance and privacy. – Rappler.com