Philippine Senator proposes consolidated biometric ID system

05/12/17

A senior Philippine official is proposing the consolidation of all biometrics data, which some government agencies have gathered to cut the projected cost in implementing the proposed national identification system.

At a meeting to discuss the establishment of a national ID system, Senator Panfilo Lacson called for authorities to combine their databases.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said that the Social Security System (SSS), Commission on Elections (Comelec), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) had all spent public funds to “capture the biometrics of so many millions of Filipinos.”

“Why not consolidate, integrate them to save funds” Lacson said in an interview.

Lacson said that he felt like there is a big chance that his proposed national identification system bill would be passed during the first quarter of next year. Lacson told reporters the bill has been passed on third and final reading in the House of Representatives while the Senate is currently deliberating on it.

Lacson, meanwhile, said that if passed, it would take more than five years for the national ID system to be fully implemented in the Philippines.

He pointed out that because India and Indonesia took five years to implement their national ID system, he expected the Philippines to take “longer” but noted that it will depend on the technology available.

The senator said that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will be tasked to provide a unique national reference number to each individual, and the reference card shall be tamper-proof.

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