In 2015, the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 5060 requiring all Filipinos to be issued a national identification card. This covers Filipinos in the country and those residing abroad. It shall serve as the main identification of Filipinos and will be required for all government transactions such as applications for driver’s license and passports, SSS and GSIS claims, use of Philhealth privileges, and applying for a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.
The bill has yet to be decided on by the Senate.
Currently, the general requirement for public and commercial transactions is for an individual to present at least two government-issued ID cards to validate his identity. It would be easy for a Pinoy to simply present an SSS, GSIS, Philhealth, Driver’s License, Voter’s ID, Senior Citizen ID, or a Professional Regulation Commission ID if his livelihood, profession, or age has qualified him to own any of these. Otherwise, a Postal ID or a Passport would also be required. Seldom though that a person has at least two of any of the above IDs.
The need to have a national identification paved the way for the Unified Multi-Purpose ID Card (UMID) issued to SSS, GSIS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG members. The UMID, however, discriminates against citizens who have not sought membership from any of the mentioned agencies, decreasing its merit as a national ID. It leaves out the self-employed, unemployed, minors, and Pinoy workers abroad.
The national ID covers all citizens of the Philippines, regardless of their geographical location, employment status, skills, and age. An individual’s national ID may be replaced only when:
- A child reaches the legal age of 18 years old;
- A woman who got married and wishes to adopt her husband’s last name as her own;
- A woman who has been granted annulment from her marriage and wishes to revert to her maiden last name;
- In case of loss or destruction.
It shall be made of tamper-proof and printed on security material and will be valid for life.
Some groups contested the national ID system as it is vulnerable to security issues such as violation of privacy and identity theft. In order to address these concerns that threatened to nip the proposal in the bud, the bill included sanctions for imminent abuse of the system.
The entire nation is waiting for the Senate’s final decision on the proposal. Meanwhile, let us hold on to our government-issued ID card/s, making sure that these are updated and valid all the time.
Do you agree that we, as a nation, must have a National ID System? Tell us what you think!