Those targeted for financial assistance due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the marginalized sector should be given priority in the implementation of the National ID system, Senator Panfilo Lacson said.
This should be done if the system is ready to accept registrants, he said.
Lacson said there is no other time than now where the National ID system, which was signed into law nearly two years ago, is most needed than now when the government should help the poor adversely hit by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or “lockdown.”
“I hope the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) can fast-track the implementation of the National ID system, as directed by the President,” Lacson said.
Lacson said NEDA should have ample help from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as the frontline agency, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which plays a major role.
Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III have filed Senate Resolution 352 seeking to investigate the National ID System’s delayed implementation, which can hasten the effective distribution of help to Filipinos affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown due to COVID-19.
“This would not only aid in the efficient distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) currently being implemented by different government agencies, but would also help our law enforcement agencies in fighting crimes and facilitate key government services and transactions among others,” said the two senators.
“Almost two years from its enactment into law and the approval of its implementing rules and regulations, there seems to be no significant headway on its implementation,” they said.
They also noted that while the PSA implemented a pilot testing program in 2019 “covering a small number of individuals from the National Capital Region,” the National ID System has yet to achieve its goal of easing red tape in government.
Sotto and Lacson said the National ID system has not yet been implemented .
The ID system receives P2 billion annually for the program, according to Senate Resolution 352.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law in 2018 Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, mandating the government to create a single official identification card for all citizens and foreign residents, which is seen to curtail bureaucratic red tape, promote ease of doing business, and strengthen financial inclusion./Stacy Ang