The House of Representatives approved on Friday a bill seeking to install the National ID System.
House Bill 6221, which passed on third and final reading, is also known as the “Filipino Identification System” that will provide for the establishment of a National Identification Database System or the Filipino Identification System (FilSys).
At least 142 lawmakers voted for the bill, while the militant seven-member Makabayan bloc voted against it.
Proponents of the National ID System maintained that the bill will help speed up the delivery of basic social services to Filipinos. But the Makabayan bloc warned that the measure could lead to violations of privacy especially of those who are critical to the government.
In explaining her vote, Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus expressed fear that the National ID System may be used in the war on drugs, through “intensified surveillance” and “state profiling.”
According to the bill, all Filipinos upon reaching the legal age of 18, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, is mandated to register personal data as required by the FilSys.
The applicant will then be issued a non-transferable Filipino ID Card (Fil ID) with a lifetime Common Reference Number (CRN).
The CRN is a unique and permanent identification number which will be enrolled to the CRN Registry, which will be administered by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) in coordination with other implementing agencies.
According to the bill, the CRN is a distinct number issued for every registered citizen across all agencies, offices and other instrumentalities of government.
The ID would also contain confidential information, such as the full name date and place of birth, permanent address, blood type, and barcode on the face of the card; the CRN, agency code, biometrics information including finger prints, iris scan and facial image, height, weight and Tax Identification Number in the smart chip; mobile number, mother and father’s names, voter’s identification number, PhilHealth membership number, Philippine passport number, Professional Regulation Commission, Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, and PAG-IBIG numbers, driver’s license, and other “sensitive personal information” in the database.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate compared the ID system to Big Brother, the omniscient character in George Orwell’s dystopic novel “1984.”
“Isa sa mga dystopic scenario ang Big Brother sa akdang 1984 ni George Orwell. Dito, bawat galaw, bawat salitang tinuran, lahat ng isinulat, taong kinausap at pinag-usapan ay kinokolekta ng isang tila omnipresent na nilalang. Ang mariing pagsubaybay ni Big Brother rito ay upang supilin ang kahit anong ideya na babangga o taliwas sa umiiral na sistemang panlipunan,” Zarate said.
“Ang ganito mang kaayusan ay hindi pa nangyayari, nasa nilalaman naman ng panukalang National ID System ang mga tampok na katangian nito: ang pagkolekta ng mga sensitibong impormasyon ng mga mamamayan, ito ay mandatory o sapilitan, at ito ay likas na bulnerable sa pang-aabuso,” he added.
Anakpawis Rep Ariel Casilao called the ID system a scheme for an “authoritarian” state.
“The national ID system proposal is a marcosian or authoritarian measure, and it will transform our country as a police state, where the people is under constant shadowing by government agents, which is a gross violation of right to privacy, liberty, safety, security and life,” Casilao said. KGA/ JPV