MANILA – The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak in the country makes Filipinos realize the importance of the Phil ID, the national ID under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.
In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Nograles highlighted the advantages of using the Phil ID, such as the faster distribution of emergency relief to poor Filipinos affected by the pandemic.
His statement backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent stance that the enforcement of PhilSys could have addressed the discrepancies in the distribution of cash aid under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
The SAP, which grants emergency subsidies of between PHP5,000 and PHP8,000 to 18 million poor families, has been implemented after the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Marami ‘yung puwedeng use talaga nung national ID at itong Covid-19, itong ECQ (The national ID has indeed many uses and this Covid-19, this ECQ) just shows us how important the national ID system is,” he said.
Republic Act (RA) 11055 or the PhilSys Act, inked by Duterte on Aug. 6, 2018, mandates the issuance of Phil ID that will serve as a valid proof of identity for all Filipino citizens and resident aliens.
Duterte on Monday bared that leftist groups have opposed the implementation of PhilSys, which could have fast-tracked the distribution of emergency subsidies to low-income households.
Nograles agreed with Duterte that the government could have easily tracked the target beneficiaries, had the PhilSys been implemented.
He also noted that with Phil ID, there would be no need for the government to require the head of each poor family to fill out the Social Amelioration Card for them to access the SAP.
“In terms of distribution mechanism, mas madali kasi may ID na nga. In terms of validation, may ID na rin so mas madali for government to validate kung sila rin po ba yung nakatanggap (In terms of the distribution mechanism, it would have been easier had there been an ID. In terms of validation, it would have been easier for the government to validate the beneficiaries),” Nograles said.
The Phil ID, which will be given for free, will collate the ID holder’s full name, sex, date, and place of birth, blood type, and address.
It will indicate if a person is a Filipino or a resident alien and will contain the holder’s front-facing photo, a full set of fingerprints, and an iris scan.
It would be optional for a Phil ID holder to disclose his or her marital status, mobile number, and electronic mail address.
Nograles cited the need for the full implementation of PhilSys to allow the government to identify the beneficiaries from the poor and marginalized sectors.
“From the management point of view and logistics point of view, kung meron po tayong national ID, then number one, may listahan po tayo kung sino ‘yung poor and marginalized families (If we have the national ID, then number one, we’ll have the list of poor and marginalized families),” he said.
Nearly 90 percent of cash aid given to LGUs
Nograles said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has given some PHP71,215,745,250 to about 1,638 local government units (LGUs) to ensure the speedy distribution of emergency relief to poor families.
He said the government was able to transfer nearly 90 percent of funds to LGUs.
“Sa PHP71.215 billion na na-distribute na sa LGUs, malapit na tayo sa 90-percent accomplishment sa Social Amelioration Project o Program ng DSWD (Following the distribution of PHP71.25-billion funds to LGUs, we are now near 90-percent accomplishment when it comes to the implementation of the DSWD’s SAP),” Nograles said.
He noted that as of Thursday, an additional PHP1.3 billion worth of emergency subsidies were distributed to 236,331 low-income families who are not part of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
He added that 3.72 million 4Ps beneficiaries have already received the cash assistance from the national government.
“Under the amended measure, the validation of beneficiaries will be conducted after the payout of the subsidies. This way, LGUs will be able to proceed with the distribution of the cash aid within 24 hours upon receipt of the funds from the DSWD,” Nograles said.
He said the DSWD has also extended PHP65 billion worth of emergency subsidies to 1,228 LGUs for disbursement to beneficiaries of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation. (PNA)