Aside from the new OFW ID card, there’s another proof of identification that all Filipinos can look forward to: a National ID. Government officials have stated that President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign into law a national identification card system in the coming weeks.
During a recent press briefing in Manila, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced that the law could be passed as early as next week. Likewise, he mentioned that President Duterte might decide to sign the National ID Law before Easter.
Philippine National ID System Coming Soon
For several years, parallel bills calling for a national ID system have been pending approval in the Philippine Chambers of Congress. Several months ago, the House of Representatives finally approved the bill.
Similarly, the Philippine Senate passed the Philippine Identification System Act of 2018 last March 14. It was Senator Panfilo Lacson who sponsored the Senate version of National ID Act Senate Bill 1738.
System to Unify All Government IDs
According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, despite many ID cards issued by the Philippine government, 14 percent of Filipinos are unable to access services because of lack of proper identification. He said that a universal ID can resolve this problem.
Pernia cited from World Bank’s ID for Development Group (ID4D) study, saying, “Results of the study also show that the Philippines’ identity landscape is fragmented, inefficient, and duplicative with at least 25 functional ID systems, many of which are paper-based.”
“We need a system that will unify all government IDs to facilitate citizens’ transactions with government and even with the private sector,” he explained. “Hence, a national ID system can open up opportunities especially for the poor and marginalised and will make public service delivery more efficient.”
Indeed, a national ID system would help ensure that all Filipinos can have access to public services. As for OFWs, did you know that there’s a livelihood program for those returning to the Philippines? Read more about the Balik Pilipinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! (BPBH) program offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).