DUMAGUETE CITY, Jan. 20 (PIA) -- Officials from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Negros Oriental assured the public that the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) identification cards will not contain nor divulge information regarding a person's wealth, number of assets, and other personal information.
PSA Supervising Statistical Specialist Felida Generoso made the clarification in a recent multi-sectoral forum organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here.
"Naa man gyud uban notion na 'hala! Ang akong privacy wala na. Basin makuha ang akong mga kwarta sa bangko. Basin makit-an ang akong mga kaso.' Ang atong timan-an na kining ID nato, ID ra gyud siya. Identification card ra gyud ni siya kung kinsa ka: Who you are and who you claim to be (Therese are several notions about this. It's either this could invade a person's privacy or enable others to have access to a person's bank account and get their money, or expose cases that the person is involved in. We have to bear in mind that this is just an ID. It is proof of your identification, of who you are, and who you claim to be)," Generoso explained.
She said the identification card, which is also called PhilID, will only contain information on a person's full name, date of birth, sex, blood type, and some biometric features such as iris scans and fingerprints.
On the other hand, the address and civil status of an individual will be optional since these are "transitory."
Females will also be given the chance to choose to use their maiden surname or current family name in their PhilIDs.
"This is intended for identification," said Generoso.
Pursuant to R.A. 11055, the primary objective of PhilSys is to provide a valid proof of identity for citizens and resident aliens living in the country as means of simplifying transactions in public and private offices.
The law adds that PhilSys also "aims to eliminate the need to present other forms of identification when transacting with the government and the private transactions."
Social Security System (SSS) Dumaguete Branch Manager Elisa Llavan said in the same forum that this is a welcome development for the agency.
"Dakong tabang gyud siya because sa transaction sa office as government agency naggikinahanglan gyud mi ug IDs. Kung wala silang SSS IDs we will require them to submit at least two valid IDs. Kasagaran ang uban walang mga IDs so mabudlayan sila mo-transact sa Amoa. Kung naa sila ing-ana, dili na siya budlay kay kanang ID mao na na ang among pangitaon (This will a big help to us. As government agency, we require ID when people transact with us. If our clients don't have SSS IDs we will require them to submit at least two valid IDs. Most of them don't have these IDs so it's a hassle for them when they transact with us. If they have that ID, we will ask them to present it to us. It won't be too burdensome on their part anymore)," Llavan said.
PSA Provincial Director Engr. Ariel Fortuito also underscored that another objective of the PhilSys is to help the poor in availing government services by providing them with another valid proof of identification.
However, Genoroso noted that the PhilSys ID does not replace other functional IDs such as driver's license, passport, etc.
PSA is expected to roll out the pilot phase of PhilSys implementation in each province by July 2020 but this will only involve PSA employees.
Fortuito explained that they would want to know how long it would take a person to finish the process of applying for the ID and address potential concerns during the pilot run.
Once PhilSys is fully implemented, interested individuals will have to register in the designated registration centers in their area, fill out their form, present their birth certificate or baptismal certificate, and undergo the process of recording their biometrics before they will be issued PhilIDs. (ral/PIA7 NegOr)