It has often been asserted that had a national identification and numbering system of Filipino citizens have been in place, the targeting, distribution and scheduling of stimulus packages during the Covid-19 pandemic would have been faster, efficient, accurate and cost-effective.
So when President Rodrigo Duterte signed an Executive Order 162 recently, which institutionalizes the acceptance of the PhilID and PSN (PhilSys Number) as sufficient proof of identity and age in all government and private transactions, it was met with enthusiastic public approval.
Duterte said the PhilSys shall be the government’s central identification platform for all citizens and resident aliens of the country in consonance with the general policy under Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act,
The PhilSys (Philippine Identification System) shall serve as the official government-issued identification document and official proof of identity of cardholders in dealing with all national government agencies envisioned to improve efficiency in the delivery of social services, strengthen financial inclusion and promote ease of doing business.
According to Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, the EO intends to improve efficiency of public service delivery, strengthen good governance, and cut red tape in private and public transactions.
“Moreover, as we prepare for the ‘new normal’, the transition to e-governance becomes crucial, particularly the digitalizing of government processes. E-governance will reduce red tape, eliminate corruption, enhance transparency, provide safe and convenient delivery of services to the people, and encourage citizen feedback and participation in governance,” the senator added.
The PSN or PSN derivative of an individual shall also be honored and accepted in transactions with the government and private sector entities, notwithstanding the non-presentation of the PhilID.
Under the EO, the Philippine Statistics Authority shall ensure that cardholders or holders of the PSNs will not be prejudiced if authentication cannot be performed through no fault on the part of said persons.
Neither does this order foreclose the recognition and acceptance of other government-issued identification documents in government and private transactions, it added.
Banks and other financial institutions shall comply with the guidelines issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other regulatory agencies on the use of PhilID, PSN or PSN Derivative.
Duterte earlier ordered all government agencies, including local government units, to prepare for the implementation of the National ID system.
The PSA and the Department of Information and Communications Technology was tasked to ensure that all information databases and systems to be developed by government entities shall be synchronized to facilitate interoperability of government-initiated identification systems, ensure efficient and more reliable government transactions and secure access to information and services. (PNA/SPH)