By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday welcomed the signing of the Philippine ID System (PhilSys) saying it is one effective tool to improve peace and order in the country.
Through the PhilSys, all information of every Filipinos will be consolidated in a single database so that a national identification card will be issued by the government. President Duterte is expected to sign the bill on Monday afternoon.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said if all Filipinos will register to the government’s central identification system, access to records of the identity of a person who committed a crime will be easier for state security forces, thus, resulting to an easier solution or even prevention of crime.
“Malaking bagay ‘yan lalung-lalo na sa pag-improve ng peace and order sa bansa (It’s a big help for us in improving the peace and order [situation] in our country),” Albayalde said.
For one, Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, said that solving cyber crimes, especially fraud, identity theft, and online scams, will be easier since one can easily access necessary information of a crime suspect.
“Meron na tayong access to records na consolidated so hindi na tayo mangangapa sa identity [of suspect]. Maaaring mas mapabilis ang pagresolba ng mga kaso (We already have access to records which are consolidated so we will no longer be lost in the dark in identifying [suspects]. Probably, we can solve faster those cases),” Durana explained.
Furthermore, Albayalde said that with the implementation of the national ID system, its own National Crime Information System and National Police Clearance System will be consolidated with the national database.
Aside from improving peace and order, Albayalde said an efficient national ID system assures access by 106.6-million Filipinos to a wide-range of government services and privileges including in census, taxation, election registration, banking, travel documentation, social security, social welfare, and other transactions with government agencies.
The full implementation of the national ID system will be in 2019, according to Palace officials. With this, Albayalde said they will consider the adjustment period allotted for Filipino citizens to register.
He said individuals who will not immediately be given national IDs will not be arrested yet.
“They will be given a chance to [get national ID] dahil hindi naman kasi overnight makakakuha (because it will not be distributed overnight). Millions of Filipinos want to have national ID. Mahabang panahon ‘yan para makakuha (It will take a long time for everybody to get one). We encourage all the Filipino people to get their ID,” the PNP chief said.
Compared to ‘Clean Rider’
The country’s top cop also hopes that the public will support the national ID system as he said it would be for their own safety.
He said he expects the national ID system will be supported by the public just as when the “Clean Rider” campaign was backed by many when it was launched.
Last week, the PNP launched Clean Rider Campaign, a systematic collection of motorcycle riders’ data in the Philippines to deter crimes involving motorcycle-riding suspects.
“Imagine ‘yung support sa motor campaign namin naubusan ng sticker sa sobrang dami ng nag-volunteer na gustong magpalagay sa sasakyan nila. So makikita mo ‘yung support ng community para lang makatulong sa pag-improve ng peace and order dito sa ating bansa (Imagine the support that we got in the motor campaign, we ran out of stickers with the volume of riders who want to have stickers on their vehicles. You can see the support from the community to help us in improving the peace and order here in the country),” Albayalde said.
Although there are risks of possible data breach in the national ID system, the PNP assured that there are safeguards that is being worked out by the national government to prevent such.
“Of course there’s danger. In cyberworld, there’s no such thing as zero-risk safe. But the government is doing everything to install safety measures that will prevent this,” Durana said. (Martin A. Sadongdong)