National ID system hurdles 2nd reading

Posted at 02/15/13 11:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A proposed law requiring all Filipinos to secure individual identification cards has been approved on second reading by the the House of Representatives.

House Bill 6895, authored by Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara, will require all Filipinos here and abroad to secure non-transferable IDs from at the Local Civil Registrars Office of the town or city they live.

The ID, which will be valid for at least 10 years and subject to renewal, will bear the photo, name, birth date, date of issue, signature of the owner, individual serial number issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO), and biometric data of the cardholder.

It will be initially given free but renewals will be charged to the cardholder.

The proposed "Filipino Identification System Act" aims to reduce red tape in government, Bichara said.

"The bill will reduce costs and lessen the financial burden on both the government and the public brought about by the use of multiple ID cards and maintenance of redundant databases containing the same or related information," he added.

"It ensures greater convenience for those transacting business with government," he said.

Under the proposed law, violators who will give false data in applying for the issuance of the ID or use the card to commit fraud or crime will face a P500,000 fine or imprisonment of not more than 2 years or both at the discretion of the court.

Other authors of the bill are Reps. Christopher Co (Party-list, Ako Bicol), Pedro Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin), Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa (Lone District, Occidental Mindoro), Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora), Rodolfo Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), Rodel Batocabe (Party-list, Ako Bicol), Alfredo Garbin, Jr.  (Party-list, Ako Bicol), Eduardo Gullas (1st District, Cebu), Romeo Acop (2nd District, Antipolo City), Angelo Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan).