Despite privacy concerns, Palace open to national ID proposal
A national ID system would help streamline government transactions, says Albay Rep Al Francis Bichara

MANILA, Philippines – Citing privacy concerns, President Benigno Aquino isn’t too keen on adapting a proposal to set up a national ID system in its current form.

The Palace, however, is open to reviewing it, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an August 3 radio interview.

Bukas naman tayong pag-aralan kung meron hong pagbabago, or meron pong naidagdag doon sa mga lumang proposal,” Valte said. (We’re open to the proposal if there are changes or additions to the old one.)

Nabanggit nga ng Pangulo ay medyo may agam-agam po tayo dahil ang naiisip po ng Pangulo ay meron nga hong potential privacy issue… [pero] kung meron hong pagbabago… wala naman pong kawalan kung titingnan po natin,” she added. (It depends because as the President mentioned, we have apprehensions about it because of potential privacy issues. But we are open to it. It won’t hurt to look into it.)

This week Albay Rep Al Francis Bichara filed a bill pushing for a national identification system. In a statement, Bichara said the proposal, filed as House Bill 11, would be a “practical and doable way to facilitate and streamline government transactions.” 

Bichara also acknowledged the controversy the proposal would elicit, particularly from human rights groups who fear the national ID system would “be used by the State to violate the rights of individuals.”

But information on individuals will be kept away from 3rd parties except “under certain exceptional circumstances,” Bichara said.

Under the proposed system, identification cards would be valid for 10 years and subject to renewal after. Cards will also store biometric data of individuals. –

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