Nat’l ID seen to curb criminality

MANILA — Terrorists and criminals will soon have a hard time doing their illegal activities with the passage of the Philippine Identification System Act, a military spokesperson said Tuesday.

“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,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo added.

With the said law, terrorists and criminals will no longer be able to assume multiple and/or false identities to commit crimes, he stressed.

“With the new identification system, we will be able to check and validate their (criminals’, etc.) identities,” Arevalo emphasized.

Also, the Philippine Identification System Act 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,” the AFP spokesperson pointed out.

The Philippine Identification System Act or Republic Act 11055 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang last Monday. Under the bill, 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 Republic Act 11055, 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.