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Duterte set to sign National ID law

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By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte is scheduled to sign on Monday, Aug. 6, the Philippine Identification (ID) System Act which institutionalizes a single official identification for all Filipino citizens and foreign residents in the country, Malacañang said in an advisory on Sunday.

The National ID system, identified as among the priority measures of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), is expected to be rolled out next year as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already allotted P2 billion for its implementation.

The proposed legislation hurdled the bicameral conference committee last May, where lawmakers decided to adopt the Senate version, Senate Bill (S.B.) No. 1738.

The Senate bill was prepared by that chamber’s committees on justice and human rights, finance, and public information and mass media. Its purpose is to “provide a valid proof of identity for all citizens and resident aliens as a means of simplifying public and private transactions.”

The measure aims to eliminate the need to present other forms of identification when transacting with the government and the private sector, subject to appropriate authentication measures based on a biometric identification system.

“Furthermore, the PhilSys (Philippine ID System) shall be a social and economic platform through which all transactions including public and private services can be availed of and shall serve as the link in the promotion of seamless service delivery, enhancing administrative governance, reducing corruption, strengthening financial inclusion, and promoting ease of doing business,” the Senate bill also read.

Also on Monday, there will be a ceremonial signing of the organic law (Republic Act No. 11054) for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“We cannot underplay the significance of this signing as we take comfort in this momentous step towards building the foundation of a lasting peace in Mindanao. We therefore would like to express our gratitude to all those who worked hard to enable the passage of this landmark law,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement on Sunday.