The national ID system is seen bringing several benefits to more than 100 million Filipinos, including quicker transactions with private and public institutions, and waiving tedious requirements to produce all sorts of documents to prove one’s identity.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson Sr., principal sponsor of the P25-billion to P40-billion enabling legislation, listed “numerous benefits” resulting from the enactment of the National ID System Law: “First, when you transact business with public or private institutions, you will no longer be asked to present assorted documents to prove your identity. All you need to do is to show your Philippine ID Card.
“If you forgot your card, left it at home or misplaced it but you know your Philippine ID System Number or PSN, you can still transact business,” Lacson said.
The senator added the national ID will also spare you from hassles “when renewing or applying for Social Security System [SSS] benefits and you happen to have a namesake, which will prevent you from getting benefits or register at SSS that usually takes months to process and clear up.”
In addition, Lacson said the requirement to produce two government-issued IDs with photo will no longer be needed when the national ID is presented as proof of identity. “Only two basic questions are required to be answered: “Who are you? And is it really you?”
He added that newly born Filipinos will now automatically get a Phil-ID number, noting that when one is born, “we are given a name and then the birth certificate will be registered. So we already have an identity.”
Lacson said the only thing lacking at that point is an “identifying permanent serial number.”
Under the new law, the senator added, the permanent number will be given upon reaching the age of majority. “A newly born baby is only given a temporary number.”
“Once a person reaches the age of majority, that is the time a permanent lifetime number is given. Even if one dies, he brings the number with him to the grave,” Lacson said. “It is permanently yours, not transferable. It is unique and permanent to the person issued a Phil-ID.”
Lacson added that under the law, confirming the identification is made easier because it is linked to the Phil- ID Computer System. For instance, he said, a bank can promptly verify through a computer the identity and number of the cardholder.
“In this day and age of modern technology, computers are linked together. So, instantly the PSA [Philippine Statistics Authority] system can confirm your identity. This is important when you transact business with Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth or the Land Transportation Office [LTO]. Your Phil-ID contains your name, date of birth, gender and address. You e-mail and mobile numbers are optional.”
Lacson, likewise, confirmed the inclusion of biometric data, “which include your facial image, biometrics, such as iris scan, and fingerprints of your 10 fingers.”
Another convenience is that the national ID system is also linked to the United Multipurpose ID (UMID) used in transacting with the SSS, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG Fund.
“They are now linked, all of them,” Lacson said. “It is all there. This National ID makes it easier to identify a person [and facilitate transactions] because, as I said, it is unique and permanent to a person, no one else can own someone’s ID number.”
The senator clarified that driver’s license and passport will still be there. But when one transacts business with government or private institutions, only the national ID card will suffice to prove one’s identity.
“When you go to SSS and you forgot your SSS number or card, the serial number of the national ID system will enable you to transact business with the SSS, same with the LTO, among others,” he added. “Same with applying for a passport.”
Lacson said he clarified in his sponsorship speech that the intent of the ID law was “to reward, not to punish; to make life easy, not difficult.”