MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has received his national ID card, photos from Malacañang showed on Thursday, even as some officials face a graft complaint for the project.
In photos shared to reporters, Duterte can be seen getting his ID from National Economic and Development Authority Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.
Authorities hope the Philippine Identification System ID would boost public service delivery, reduce corruption, and curtail bureaucratic red tape.
Duterte in 2018 signed into law the PhilSys Act that mandated the government to create a single official identification card for all citizens and foreign residents that would serve as a de facto national identification number.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to lead the ID system, with support from a policy board chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority and composed of various government agencies.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno and other officials are accused of graft and violating the Government Procurement Act for allegedly awarding the P1.75-billion supply contract for the nationals ID without public bidding.
"Naninindigan po tayo sa integridad ni Governor Diokno," Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said in January.
"At alam naman natin na karapatan ng kahit sinong magsampa ng kaso. Pero kampante po kami at nagtitiwala na magbibigay-linaw po si Governor Diokno sa issue na ito," he told reporters in an online briefing.
(We stand by the integrity of Governor Diokno. And we know that anyone has a right to file a complaint. But we are confident and trust that Governor Diokno will clarify this issue.)
Duterte and his Cabinet in December approved a "3.52-billion additional budget for 2021 to register 20 million more individuals (on top of the 50 million target) to the Philippine Identification System," said Roque.
PSA had said it aims to initially register 5 million heads of low-income households from the list of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This year, PSA will register 45 million people, and another 42 million by 2022.
Registration steps include going to registration centers and submitting biometric details.
The PSA aims to register majority of Filipinos by the end of Duterte's term. The IDs to be issued are free of charge.
Signed into law in August 2018, the National ID system will provide a valid proof of identity for all Filipinos and residents, making access to services simpler and faster.