President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is urged by the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) to implement a nationwide civil registration and identification (ID) system in line with the goal to promote law and order.
“We also call on the incoming Duterte administration to work with Congress to immediately pass a national ID system bill that would not only provide each Filipino with an official government ID, but also address serious and valid concerns with respect to security, integrity and privacy of personal information,” the FEF said in a statement.
According to the group, ideally, the national ID system should provide Filipinos a unique national ID number, tamper-proof ID card indicating important personal and biometric information with a citizen registry.
FEF said that implementation of both civil registration and a national ID system would bring about positive improvement in providing public services and build up preset system of governance.
In line with this, it would be mandatory for every Filipino to register their birth certificates with the National Statistic Office or the Philippine Statistics Authority so that they could have better access to services which usually require birth certificates.
“Presently, numerous Filipinos, many of whom are poor or live in far-flung areas, do not have official birth certificates registered with the NSO/PSA, and therefore suffer from lack of access to public and private services requiring birth certificates,” FEF said.
For the group, the burden to make sure that every citizen has an official birth certificate lies with the government. One way to do it is by having civil registration.
“The government must ensure that no Filipino is without an official NSO/PSA birth certificate, which can be achieved by undertaking a mass civil registration,” the group added.
However, the FEF also recognized the downside of having a national ID system as it is prone to hacking, but it is also the obligation of the government to “ensure that the database of a national ID system must be secure and not susceptible to hacking as happened in the recent ComeLeak mess,” referring to the recent COMELEC website hacking incident.
The FEF is an association which promotes good governance, market-friendly reforms, and political and economic liberty.
The association is chaired by Roberdo de Ocampo, former Finance Secretary. Romy Bernardo is its vice chair. Calixto Chikiamco is its president.