MANILA, Philippines – Data privacy and human rights groups call on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday, September 27, to delay the approval and extend the public consultations on the implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
“We call on the PSA and the other members of the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council to delay the promulgation of the PhilSys IRR and extend the period for public consultations so as to allow for broader and more meaningful participation of the public in this important rule-making process,” the groups said in a statement.
The PSA held public consultations in Manila on Monday, September 25 and in Cebu City and Davao City on Tuesday, September 25 after posting the draft online over the weekend. It is set to approve the final IRR by Thursday, September 27.
The groups, led by Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), expressed “grave concern” over the “hasty proceedings” which did not give them enough time to thoroughly examine the proposed IRR.
“These hasty proceedings do not constitute sufficient public consultation,” they said. “They do not speak well of the administration’s sincerity in fomenting a more inclusive approach to policy-making.”
Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 6, PhilSys aims to improve the delivery of government services and lead to the ease of doing business with agencies. The system will “eliminate the need to present other forms of identification when transacting with the government and private sector.” (READ: What you need to know about the Philippine national ID system)
The establishment of a national ID system has been the center of debate concerning privacy and data security for decades. That is why, according to FMA, it is important that the implementing rules are scrutinized before they are approved.
“A mechanism of such reach and significance warrants genuine participation of those it purports to serve and it demands consultation that gives voice to all sectors of society.” the groups said.
Rappler has reached out to PSA but is yet to give a statement.
The PSA sees all Filipinos registered into the PhilSys within 3 to 5 years, targeting to have at least 25 million registrants by 2019.
Read the full statement here://
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