Filtered By: News

Funds for nat'l ID system in GAA short by P2.6B of what PSA asked

The allocation for the national ID system under the 2020 national budget is P2.6 billion less than the Philippine Statistics Authority requested to have the most number of Filipinos registered as  possible.

The 2020 General Appropriations Act that President Rodrigo Duterte signed only set aside P2 billion for the national ID system under the new programmed appropriations for the PSA.

Under the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018, the PSA has been tasked to lead overall planning, management and administration of the ID system.

Apart from this, a total of P1 billion has also been allocated under unprogrammed funds in the 2020 GAA for the National ID System, but these are merely "standby" funds that can only be accessed when government revenue collections exceed targets.

This brings the total funding for the National ID System to at most P3 billion.

However, during the November 2019 Senate deliberation on the 2020 budget of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the PSA was requesting for a P5.6 billion budget for the program.

PSA is an attached agency of NEDA.

At that time, the proposed budget for the National ID System was P2.4 billion under unprogrammed funds, but Senator Sonny Angara, who sponsored the NEDA's budget, said that the PSA will only be able to cover 6.3 million IDs for Filipinos even with that amount.

With P5.6 billion, the PSA could cover 14 million IDs for Filipinos as well as for resident aliens, Angara said then.

The issue on the National ID System became more visible during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, as many officials suggested to use it in identifying possible beneficiaries of government aid during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Even President Rodrigo Duterte said the execution of the national ID system could have solved the discrepancies in the distribution of the financial aid under the national government’s social amelioration program.

“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 last week.

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

Duterte also blamed leftists for the absence of the national ID system due to their opposition. -Erwin Colcol and GMA News Research/NB, GMA News