CBCP: OFWs must also benefit from nat’l ID law

MANILA — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) is hoping that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) would also benefit from the newly-enacted national ID system law.

CBCP-ECMI chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos said the new law should protect them, especially while completing their employment documents, against unscrupulous individuals.

“It is (my) hope that (a) national ID would be especially beneficial to our OFWs (to) assist them properly in their needs at different agencies against bribery and red tapes. They save time, money in procuring some necessary documents,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

“Knowing them OFWs (means) proper and primary assistance (will) be given to them. We support the national ID system,” the Bataan prelate added.

On the other hand, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo is hoping that the law will fully serve its legal purpose.

“Let us hope for the best and this law will not be abused,” Pabillo said in a text message.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act into law in Malacañang.

Under the measure, a foundational ID system, dubbed PhilSys, will be in place. It will have three components: the PhilSys Number (PSN), PhilID and PhilSys Registry.

PSN is a randomly generated, unique and permanent identification number for each individual, to be incorporated in all identification systems of government agencies. It will remain with the person even after death. PhilID is a non-transferable card with the PSN and basic information.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to act as the PhilSys Registry. Under the national ID law, the PSA will collate the full name, sex, birthdate, address, citizenship and blood type of Filipino citizens and encode them in a centralized database.

The law ensures that the individual’s right to privacy is protected.

As provided under the new law, information may only be released when the registered person has given his or her consent, specific to the purpose prior to the processing; when the compelling interest of public health or safety so requires, provided the risk of significant harm to the public is established and the owner of the information is notified within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure; upon order of any competent court; and when a registered person requests from the PSA access to his or her registered information and record history, subject to the guidelines and regulations to be issued by the PSA. PNA-northboundasia.com