The National ID system in the Philippines is still currently in the works as there are a lot of Filipinos who have yet to get their IDs. However, some are still hesitant to register for their National ID.

What is the National ID? The Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys) collects biometrics (fingerprint, iris recognition, and picture) of people who enroll and stores them on a unified national ID card.

PhilSys is the government’s principal identification system for Filipinos and permanent immigrants. The National ID can be used for commercial and government sector transactions. In many nations, a national ID is provided to help citizens access social services.

What are the advantages of having a National ID in the Philippines?

One ID for all transactions

It is indeed distressing when the transaction cannot be processed due to missing IDs. Now, all transactions requiring identification verification will recognize the national ID.

With National ID, Filipinos no longer need to provide different IDs to government and commercial offices. Under PhilSys, national ID may be used for the following:

Protection against fraud

The Philippine Identification System (PhilID) card will include the same security features seen in passports, wallets, and other forms of government-issued identification all across the world. It will be tough for con artists to replicate the card and make bogus identification cards with it.

If a Filipino is a consumer, possessing a national ID will ensure that the Filipino is protected against several forms of fraud, including identity theft.

However, there are still some pressing concerns about the National ID and this brings us to the potential disadvantages and risks that the National ID carries.

Quick and easy access to financial services

According to the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 34% of Filipino adults reported they couldn’t get bank loans due to a lack of ID.

Millions of unbanked Filipinos may now open bank accounts, apply for credit cards and loans, invest, and use other financial services using the new national ID system.

Government transactions will be more efficient

It is anticipated that the national ID system would increase the efficiency of government services, which will result in shorter lines and durations required to complete transactions.

In a similar vein, recipients of unconditional cash payments will have a quicker time receiving their benefits since the government will be able to target them through the usage of their national ID cards.

Less difficulty in getting senior citizen discount

Senior persons will gain a great deal from the implementation of the national ID system. This will put an end to the misunderstanding around the kind of identification that older citizens might show in order to receive a discount on their purchases. Even though the law for senior citizens makes it quite clear that any kind of government-issued identification can be used to receive the discount, some firms will only accept the senior citizen ID.

Once they reach the age of 60, seniors would not even have to register for a senior citizen ID since their national ID already reveals their birthday. This means that seniors will be able to immediately take advantage of their seniors discount and advantages.

See also: How to track National ID delivery


Disadvantages of National ID

Privacy Rights Violations

A national ID system provides the government with unparalleled access to a massive database of personal information about its residents. This is the biggest threat that technology poses to any civilization, as is seen in the past of a significant number of countries that provide examples of the inappropriate use or abuse of it.

Civil Liberty Infringement

Invasions of privacy are often the first step toward more serious breaches of human rights. Any government that is able to maintain tabs on its populace through the use of an ID system also has the power to resort to more repressive practices, which may involve other rights that are connected.

Not an effective defense against terrorism

When asked what tools they need to investigate crimes and other dangers, governments often issue wish lists that include a national ID system as one of the items on the list. This, despite the fact that they are unable to provide any real proof that it is successful.

According to a report that was published in 2005 by the Senate Economic Planning Office in the Philippines, there is no evidence to suggest that having a national ID system makes a country more secure against terrorist attacks.

It can act like a function creep

Function creep, the unintended use of a tool or system, is a concern for everybody enrolled in an ID system. The Senate draft bill exempts “public health or safety” from the safeguard against unauthorized publication of registration information. Who decides isn’t given.

Data security concerns

Concerns exist about the government’s data protection. The 2016 Comelec hack reinforced the popular impression that the Philippine government is incapable or ill qualified to handle sensitive information networks.

These arguments presented are still subject to debate. In the end, let us hope the government protects ID holders’ security and privacy.

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