Concept Art of the National ID


Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson are calling for an investigation on the delay in the implementation and use of the budget of the Philippine Identification System Act , which they say could play a vital role in distributing the much-needed cash assistance during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Both senators filed Senate Resolution 352 on Wednesday calling for a probe on the status of the law that required a single identification card for each Filipino citizen.

Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte way back 2018, but the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has not taken any move to fully implement it. Senate Resolution 352 wants to know what happened to the P2 billion budget allocated annually for the program as mandated in the law.

“From 2018 to 2020 General Appropriations Act, a budget of P2 billion has been allotted for the National ID System every year — totaling to P6.09 billion for 3 years,” according to Sotto and Lacson’s resolution.

“Almost 2 years from its enactment into law and the approval of its implementing rules and regulations, there seems to be no significant headway on its implementation,” it added.

Sotto and Lacson earlier called on the executive department to roll out the national ID system to help solve the discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries for financial aid held by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units.

The discrepancies in the DSWD and LGU databases are the main reason for the delay in the release of emergency cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months to 18 million low-income families severely affected by the lockdown.
READ: Senators push for National ID to speed up cash assistance roll out.

Sotto in a tweet repeated his exasperation in the non-enactment of the national ID law.

Sotto told a Senate committee meeting that they will hold a hearing about the issue once the session resumes in May.

The Senate president also stated that the national ID system can play a big role to speed up the distribution of the government’s cash aid under the public health emergency.

Meanwhile, Duterte admitted that the national ID system could have helped during the pandemic but quickly blamed the “Left” for the delay of the system.  (RJ Espartinez)