The Palawan provincial board has approved a measure requesting the fast-tracking of the implementation nationwide of the Philippine Systems Information Act (PhilSys), also known as the “National ID Law”.
The national ID law’s implementation was scheduled to start by July 2020 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in September 2019.
A resolution authored by board member Ryan Maminta requesting the national government to immediately implement the national ID law and its provisions was approved in the 51st regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The PhilSys Act, or Republic Act 11055, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, with the goal of creating a more efficient identification system for Philippine nationals and resident aliens.
The law’s main provisions include the creation a national ID (PhilID) and a PhilSys Number (PSN). These two components will be used by the government to record all transactions made by the PhilID holder. Such transactions include applications for a driver’s license, passport, taxes, voter registration, school applications, or bank transactions. Private sector transactions will also be recorded by the government through the PhilID.
The PhilID does not, however, replace all other existing government-issued identification cards such as those for drivers’ licenses, tax identification numbers (TIN), PhilHealth, passports, and the Social Security System (SSS).
According to the PSA, main implementor of the law along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), registration is targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. The office is targeting to register nearly 5 million household heads of low-income households.
The law has met its fair share of criticism in its early inception, with concerns of data breaching and “dataveillance,” a term used by data security experts to describe a surveillance system on a citizen using their transaction records. Penalties for illegally disclosing PhilSys data are provided in the law with corresponding penalties and imprisonment.