President Rodrigo Duterte signs the law today, August 6, approving the bill which launches a simplified identification (ID) system nationwide, in the presence of lawmakers and other officials.
The Philippine Identification System Act pursues into creating a unified and streamlined national identification system through a centralized database named Philippine ID System or PhilSys, containing vital information of all residents and recognized aliens in the country.
A physical ID will be issued to an individual once they are registered. This ID contains randomly generated, and permanent ID number or Common Reference Number (CRN).
Prior to this, personal data will be collected for the national ID including name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, and permanent address. Biometrics such as facial image, fingerprint, and iris scan will also be collected. However, provisions to a mobile number and email address will be optional.
See also: Valid IDs in the Philippines
The Phil ID will be recognized on all government agencies, local government units, government-owned and controlled corporations, government financial institutions, as well as the private sectors.
The registration for the Phil ID will be free of charge and Filipinos living abroad may sign up for the national ID in the embassy or consular office where they are located.
Though the system may be beneficial, many are still worried about its privacy and data security.
However, Senator Franklin Drilon waived these doubts with an assurance. “We have provided enough safeguards to protect the individual’s right to privacy and to prevent unscrupulous persons from accessing confidential information.” he said.