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Blue Ribbon probe on ‘long delayed’ release of national IDs sought

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is seeking a Senate blue ribbon committee investigation into the “long delayed” issuance of the national identification cards.

In filing proposed Senate Resolution 585, Pimentel seeks to identify accountability for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance, if any, on the part of the leadership in the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and other agencies involved in the issuance of the national IDs.

“Given the unreasonably prolonged delivery, questionable usefulness, and substandard quality of national IDs, there is already cause to believe that there is malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance on the part of the leadership in the PSA, the BSP, and other relevant agencies in fulfilling its mandate under Republic Act 11055,” he said in the resolution.

He added PSA, which manages the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) database, has a memorandum of agreement with the BSP to produce and deliver 116 million pre-personalized IDs from 2021 to 2023.

But Pimentel cited a Commission on Audit report which showed that the BSP delivered only 27,356,750 pre-personalized cards or 76% of the 36 million required number of IDs for 2021.

“People who registered for the national ID will have to wait around four months before receiving their PhilSys number,” he said.

“Apart from the delay in meeting the quota for the number of ID cards to be accomplished, there have been complaints about inaccuracy of personal information and blurry images on the cards. In some cases, the IDs are no longer readable after about three months,” he added.

Further, the lawmaker said even the usefulness of the ID is in question, as some financial institutions refused to recognize the national ID because it lacks the holder’s signature.

In a separate statement, Pimentel said the government should take swift action to address the issue and provide a clear timeline for when Filipinos can receive their national IDs.

“It is crucial that the government takes immediate steps to resolve the issue and ensure that all citizens have access to their national ID,” he said.

GMA News Online sought the comment of PSA National Statistician Dennis Mapa but he has yet to respond as of posting time.—AOL, GMA Integrated News