Military, police laud importance of national ID
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana emphasized the importance of the passage of the Philippine System Identification (ID) Act.
Based on our experience, armed conflicts and insurgencies are often rooted in poor governance and delivery of basic services. Having a national ID system in place will help government address the gaps in the identification of citizens entitled to receive government services, thereby making things more convenient for law-abiding Filipinos, he said on Tuesday.
For example, as a country prone to disasters, the system will allow improved distribution of aide to legitimate disaster victims. Matters such as this can now be better addressed because of the new law, he explained.
While we welcome the beneficial effects of this law on law enforcement operations, we assure the public that individual privacy will be respected, he added.
The Philippine System Identification Act was signed by the President Rodrigo Duterte into law last August 6.
The Armed Forces of the Philippine also emphasized how the national ID system will help the government authorities on their fight against insurgents, criminals and terrorist.
The national id is a very important aspect of national security. It removes the insurgents' and criminals' advantage of anonymity. It will also restrict their movement and will have an effect on their recruitment and extortion activities, Col.Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs chief, said.
We believe it will promote a peaceful and secure environment where terrorists, criminals, and other unscrupulous individuals will have a difficulty coping to pursue their evil designs and nefarious activities. They can no longer assume multiple and/or false identities to commit crimes that victimize our people. With the new identification system, we will be able to check and validate their (criminals, etc.) identities, added Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman.
The law will further isolate criminals from law-abiding citizens. The former will remain in hiding and cannot avail of the mandated identification card lest they be exposed to arrest and prosecution. They will lose their freedom of movement; their ability to transact business will be divested with no ID cards to present when demanded, he said.
We also believe that the ID system shall facilitate government transactions and programs like census, promote transparency, and likewise spare our people from the burden of bringing with them several identification cards to establish their identities, he noted.
In short, the law is a bane to criminals, terrorists and unscrupulous persons and groups; while it is a boon to law-abiding citizens and well-meaning individuals, he added.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also welcomes the passage of the Philippine System Identification Act saying this will assures access by 106.6-million Filipinos to a wide-range of government services and privileges.
This much-awaited measure has become a necessity for any developing country to keep pace with global trends of technology in governance, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said.
An efficient national ID system offers benefits to practical applications in census, taxation, election registration, banking, travel documentation, social security, social welfare, and other transactions with government agencies, he noted.
All these government applications stand to benefit more than the quite limited law enforcement and internal security applications due to privacy and basic rights issues associated with gathering of personal information that need to be observed and upheld, he said.
With the PhilSys law now in effect, the PNP can look forward to migrating our own National Crime Information System and the National Police Clearance System to a national database for sharing with other government agencies to optimize the operational potential of the entire national ID system, he added. Robina Asido/DMS