Why the delay? Sotto, Lacson seek probe on delayed national ID system rollout amid coronavirus crisis

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2020 10:53 AM | Updated as of Apr 15 2020 12:08 PM

MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson filed Wednesday a resolution seeking to investigate the delayed implementation of the National ID System, saying the identification program could have sped up the distribution of coronavirus cash aid.

Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act was enacted into law in 2018 but has yet to be implemented even if the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) receives P2 billion annually for the program, according to Senate Resolution 352.

"From 2018 to 2020 General Appropriations Act, a budget of P2 billion has been allotted for the National ID System every year -- totaling to P6.09 billion for 3 years," the resolution read.

"Almost 2 years from its enactment into law and the approval of its implementing rules and regulations, there seems to be no significant headway on its implementation," it said.

Sotto and Lacson noted that while the PSA implemented a pilot testing program in 2019 "covering a small number of individuals from the National Capital Region," the National ID System has yet to achieve its goal of easing red tape in government.

"This would not only aid in the efficient distribution of the social amelioration program currently being implemented by different government agencies, but would also help our law enforcement agencies in fighting crimes and facilitate key government services and transactions among others," the resolution read.

Officials from PSA, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and service providers from the private sector are expected to be called into the planned hearing, Sotto told reporters in a text message.

The Senate investigation is expected to begin shortly after Congress resumes session on May 4, he said.