By Cecille Suerte Felipe, June 13 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon assured Filipinos that there are enough safeguards in the national ID law to protect their privacy, underscoring that the law’s main objective is to enhance the delivery of basic services to the public.

Drilon made the statement to allay public fears as Malacañang announced that pilot testing of the national ID system would begin in September.

As the principal author of the Philippines Identification System Act, Drilon said the law would ensure efficient delivery of services and ease of transactions with government agencies.

“The law has enough safeguards to protect the sanctity of the individual’s information and protect their right to privacy,” Drilon said.

“It protects against unlawful disclosure of information and punishes those who will subvert the system for unlawful ends.”

“We provided a balance between enhancing the system of legal identification for better service delivery and protecting the right to privacy. The type of information collected and the purposes for which they may be used is limited,” Drilon said.

He explained the data that will be included in the national ID system would not be different from the information in all government-issued IDs.

Drilon also stressed the law would not affect data privacy as the pertinent provisions of the Data Privacy Act will still apply.

He added the law had nothing to do with the non-passage by the 17th Congress of the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act.

Under the new law, a Common Reference Number (CRN) will be given to all Filipinos containing essential information such as full name, address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, CRN and date of card issuance, along with a recent photo.

He emphasized the CRN/ID can be used by a citizen in transactions with all branches of the government, thereby making it more convenient for Filipinos to avail themselves of government services.

The ID will also be honored in transactions with private institutions.

Filipinos living and working abroad can register at embassy or consular offices in their countries of residence or work to get their assigned CRN.

“Today, you open a wallet and you will find a driver’s license, a voter’s ID, an SSS/GSIS ID, PhilHealth ID, Tax Identification Number card, among others. Once the national ID is distributed to every single Filipino here and abroad, transactions will be made easier and faster,” Drilon said.