MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Friday reminded the public to strictly observe minimum health safety standards as they register for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
This came following an incident of overcrowding at the Starmall in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan earlier this week where people flocked to a mall for the PhilSys registration even if they do not have appointments.
“Maganda po ang layunin nitong national ID para sa ating lahat. Kaya nga lamang po, dapat po natin siguraduhin na ating sinusunod ang minimum health safety protocols sa registration. Ang ating pagpaparehistro para sa national ID ay hindi dapat maging super spreader event na sanhi pa ng hawaan ng Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) (The goal of the national ID is good but in registering for this, we must all observe minimum health safety protocols on registration. Our registration must not lead to a superspreader event),” Eleazar said in a statement.
Photos and videos of the incident posted on social media showed that physical distancing was completely disregarded.
Eleazar also directed all police commanders to monitor venues for PhilSys registration in their respective areas of responsibility and to closely coordinate with the local government units to be able to provide necessary assistance.
In a statement, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) expressed regret over the incident.
“The PSA strictly abides by the standard health and safety protocols in all steps of the registration to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PSA established the three-step registration process to ensure that these protocols are met by managing the number of registrants at a given registration center.
It added that the incident was due to false information that “cash grants will be provided after the bank account opening”.
PhilSys operations at the mall were temporarily suspended while an investigation by the PSA and the San Jose del Monte City government is ongoing.
“Registrants affected will receive an SMS from the PSA regarding the suspension and when registration will resume,” it said.
The PSA has also advised people to strictly follow the appointment date and time for their Step 2 Registration and check official advisories through its website (https://philsys.gov.ph) and Facebook page e (facebook.com/PSAPhilSysOfficial).
Signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.
It also seeks to boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA – northboundasia.com