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Sotto, Lacson seek probe on status of nat'l ID system implementation

A resolution directing a Senate inquiry on the status of implementation of the national identification (ID) system was filed on Wednesday, according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

This was after several lawmakers acknowledged that the ID system will significantly help in the efficient distribution of assistance amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health emergency.

According to the P.S. Resolution No. 352, "from 2018 to 2020 General Appropriations Act, a budget of P2 billion has been alloted for the National ID System every year."

Despite an allocated budget of P6 billion in the said three years, Sotto and Senator Panfilo Lacson, authors of the resolution, said that "there seems to be no significant headway on its implementation."

Sotto said concerned officials from the National Economic and Development Authority and the Philippine Statistics Authority will be invited to attend the hearing which is expected to be held once the Senate session resumes.

He said the two agencies are involved in the delayed implementation of the P25-billion national ID system.

Service providers from the private sector that are proposing "quick and reliable" services shall also be expected to attend, he added.

Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the absence of a national ID system for the convoluted distribution of emergency subsidy amid the COVID-19 situation.

“Nagkakaroon tayo ng problema. Hindi ito perfect kaagad. Especially so, noon pa, sinabi namin na national ID makakatulong,” Duterte said in a nationally-televised address.

“Kung may ID system lang tayo, naiwasan natin itong mga ‘to,” he added.

Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System Act in 2018, which seeks to harmonize, integrate, and interconnect the countless and redundant government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.

The ID will contain the PhilSys number, full name, facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type and address of the concerned individual.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority earlier said the mass enrollment for the ID system will begin in mid-2020.—AOL, GMA News