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President Duterte signs Philippine Identification System Act

The Philippine Identification System Act, which aims to make public service delivery more efficient, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last Monday.

Duterte said this will establish a single national identification system that will promote good governance, enhance governmental transactions, and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce to thrive.

The signing coincided with the President’s presentation of the new Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to leaders of the various Moro front groups and key Mindanao stakeholders.

Duterte asked for public support for the new measure, saying the ID system will promote the efficient delivery of services through a single ID that will be issued to all citizens and resident aliens.

The new “Phil-ID” will dispense with the need to present multiple IDs for different government transactions.

“This will not only enhance administrative governance, reduce corruption, curtail bureaucratic red tape, and promote the ease of doing business, but also avert fraudulent transactions, strengthen financial inclusion, and create a more secure environment for our people,” Duterte said.

Allaying public fears on privacy and security, he said information included in the Phil-ID will be similar to those already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Government Service Insurance System, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, and the Commission on Elections.

He added that the PSA will work closely with the National Privacy Commission, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all concerns pertaining to privacy and security.

“There is therefore no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal. If at all, the Phil-ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption, and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

Presentation of the BOL

Meanwhile, Duterte expressed optimism the BOL would finally put an end to the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

“I signed into law the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao, which I hope will finally end the decades-old conflict that is rooted in the Bangsamoro’s fight for self-determination and the recognition of their unique identity,” he said.

Duterte asked the Moro people, as well as the indigenous communities and Christian settlers living within the Bangsamoro areas, to actively participate in constructive discussions about the law in their homes and communities.

He also encouraged them to take part in the upcoming plebiscite to express their sovereign will through the ballot.

“Let us work together as we continue the healing and reconciliation process. Let us give this law a chance to address the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for genuine autonomy, while preserving our bond as a single nation and affirming the sovereignty of the indivisible Republic of the Philippines,” he said.

The President thanked the members of Congress as well as its leadership for supporting the administration’s legislative agenda particularly in passing the BOL and the new ID system.

He also expressed his gratitude to the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and Moro National Liberation Front for the passage of the BOL.

“I ask everyone to join me as we decisively implement measures that will create an environment where our people’s concern will no longer be centered on their safety and security, but on charting a future they can proudly bequeath to succeeding generations,” Duterte said.

“Together, let us shatter the dark clouds that once loomed over our nation for generations, and welcome the dawn of a brighter future not only for the Bangsamoro people, but for all peace-loving Filipinos,” he added.#