MANILA (UPDATE) - Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday allayed concerns over the national ID system as Malacañang is set to pilot test implementation of the law in September, saying it has safeguards to protect citizens' privacy.
In a statement, Drilon, principal author of the Philippine Identification System Act, said the main goal of the law is to "enhance the delivery of basic services to the public," including usual transactions with government agencies.
“The law has enough safeguards to protect the sanctity of the individual’s information and protect their right to privacy,” Drilon said.
“It protects against unlawful disclosure of information and punishes those who will subvert the system for unlawful ends," he added.
Drilon said the law has provisions that strike a balance between ensuring ease in legal identification of citizens for better service delivery and protecting the right to privacy.
"The type of information collected and the purposes for which they may be used is limited,” Drilon said.
He said the national ID will carry the same information in existing government IDs.
The ID's new feature will be a Common Reference Number (CRN) which contains "essential information such as full name, address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, CRN and date of card issuance, along with a recent photo."
The ID may be used in transacting will all government offices and honored in private institutions such as banks.
Filipinos overseas may also register in embassies and consulates to get their CRN.
“Today, you open a wallet and you will find a driver’s license, a voter’s ID, an SSS/GSIS ID, Philhealth ID, Tax Identification Number card, among others. Once the National ID is distributed to every single Filipino here and abroad, transactions will be made easier and faster,” Drilon said
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, also among authors of the law, said the public should trust legislators in passing the measure.
"Tiwala lang. Pinag-aralan natin ang pag author at pag sponsor sa batas na ito," Lacson said in an Instagram post, saying the measure is for "convenience, not punishment."
(Trust us. We studied the authorship and sponsorship of this law.)
He also cited benefits of having a national ID system, including faster delivery of services and easier transactions with public and private institutions.
Lacson also emphasized that the ID only needs basic information, and that it comes with safeguards.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said pilot testing of the national ID system will be held from September to December.
The system aims to have 107 million Filipinos registered by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.