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Multi-purpose ID to possibly also serve as voter's ID

May 18, 2010 6:51pm
Social Security System (SSS) president Romulo Neri on Tuesday offered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to also use a new multi-purpose identification card (ID) as a voter's ID.

"We're happy to announce that we have offered the Comelec through Commissioner (Gregorio) Larrazabal the free use of the unified multi-purpose ID that we are arranging," Neri told reporters in an interview.
A sample of the unified multi-purpose ID which maybe used as an SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, and possibly voter's ID. - Kim Tan

The SSS chief said that several government agencies have already undertaken a memorandum of agreement to have one ID for SSS, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industria at Gobyerno (Pag-IBIG).

But he said that they are also offering the poll body "space" in the ID to store all the needed information required of a voter's ID. He said that it is a "powerful" ID with an 80K chip which costs P140 each but will be given free to those who are common members of the four organizations.

He said that the cost will be shouldered by the agencies concerned but that they are offering it to the Comelec for free. "(We are) giving Comelec free space so they can put (in) voter's identification features without any charge," he said.

He said that their technical people are already discussing how much space they need for the poll body's data. "(This) space (will be) exclusive for Comelec so this will be an additional service for our members," he said.

Neri also assured the public that the use of the unified ID is legal because only certain features allowed by the law would be in the ID, like fingerprint and address of the owner. "Because of that, the Supreme Court... cleared this ID as legal. That's (why) we were able to push through about four years ago," he said.

He said that the cost of these cards would be P1.6 billion for 12 million cards. He noted, however, that they were able to save about P1 billion because the cost would be shouldered by several agencies.

Neri added that the World Bank has already committed $6 to $7 million so that the Department of Social Welfare and Development will also be able to use the same ID for their project "Pantawid Pamilya."

On the other hand, he said that members can also use the multi-purpose ID as a Philpost card but that it is optional. He said they can use it if they want to save their remittances.

He likewise said that their members are not obliged to change their old IDs into the unified card. "For those who want, [you can use the new ID] but you can still use your old card," he said.

He said that the GSIS has already ordered several hundred thousands of these cards for their members while SSS will be using about 1,200 units of it starting this month.

Larrazabal, who met with Neri, said that they will submit the proposal to the Comelec en banc for approval. "We can adopt this as a voter's ID. For those who are not members of SSS, Philhealth... we can print out new IDs," he told reporters. —JV, GMANews.TV
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