MANILA - Former President and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has filed a bill that will integrate all government-initiated IDs into a single identification system.
Under House Bill No. 696, Arroyo said all Filipino citizens will be issued a Filipino ID Card that may be used in public and private transactions in the country.
"Every Filipino, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, is mandated to register personal information required by the ID system, and upon application shall be issued a non-transferable Filipino ID card with an ID number that shall be valid for life, subject to replacement only under (some) circumstances," Arroyo said.
The proposed law tasks the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) with overseeing the ID registration through the Local Civil Registry Office and ensuring that all Filipinos, including indigenous peoples and those in the remote communities, are issued a card.
The card, which will be made of tamper-proof security material, shall store at least the biometric data of the cardholder and shall also bear the owner's photograph, name, birth date, gender, date of issue, and signature.
The Filipino ID card may be used in all government transactions including applications for passport, driver's license, any services and benefits offered by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF); clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), courts, prosecutor and the police; proof of identity, status, age and address for admission in all learning institutions as well as for employment purposes; and availment of benefits or privileges afforded by law to senior citizens.
The same may also be used as proof of identity, status, age and address for transactions in banking and financial institutions. No additional proof of identification shall be required when the Filipino ID card is presented.
The initial application and issuance of the Filipino ID card shall be free of charge as part of the government's social service responsibility. A replacement fee shall be paid by the cardholder.
The public may apply for the ID card in their municipality or at the nearest Philippine Embassy.