Unified ID also eyed for voters, senior citizens

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2011 12:14 AM | Updated as of Jul 19 2011 06:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Social Security System (SSS) is in talks with other government agencies for the Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card (UMID) to be used as voters' and senior citizens' IDs.

The pension fund for private sector workers said it is also asking the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to allow people to use UMIDs to get passports.

SSS President and CEO Emilio de Quiros, however, clarified that the new ID system should not be construed as a national ID since the issuance is not mandatory and it only carries basic information.

The new ID system does not reveal properties or bank accounts owned by SSS members.

The SSS launched the new ID system on Monday, with the arrival of the initial batch of 5,000 cards that will have to undergo quality check.

The UMID system covers members of SSS, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Pag-IBIG Fund. The SSS is the lead agency handling the project.

The SSS said the cards will be mailed to members who have long applied for SSS IDs.

The number of those who are waiting for their SSS cards has ballooned to 607,000, while new applicants number over 120,000.

They will be prioritized in the issuance of the new cards.