Palace: Nat’l ID could have helped in relief distribution during COVID-19 pandemic

Published April 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government’s national identification system could have been “very helpful” to streamline the distribution of financial aid to low income families, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Photo from Karlo Nograles  / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Photo from Karlo Nograles / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Nograles, however, admitted the challenge of hastening the implementation of the national ID program given the enhanced community quarantine enforced in Luzon to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Lagi pinag-uusapan ‘yan (That’s always discussed). Obviously, the challenge now is how to implement it under these circumstances,” Nograles said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday. “It would have been very helpful to say the least,” he added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III recently urged the government to fast-track the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) to address problems in the distribution of the emergency subsidy to low income families.

Sotto said the national ID system should be enforced to help resolve problems of the database of persons covered by the subsidy program.

The senator made the proposal after the government’s financial aid program for poor families has been marred by complaints of delays.

The government earlier launched the pilot testing of PhilSys in select areas in the country to register a substantial number of Filipinos. The program has reportedly been halted due to the Luzon-wide quarantine.

In August, 2018, President Duterte signed into law the national ID system that will harmonize and integrate several government IDs. The ID card will contain the bearer’s full name, image, date and place of birth, address, fingerprints, and marital status, among others. The national ID system aims to promote good governance, enhanced governmental transactions, and a better environment for trade and commerce.

Among the pilot areas of the PHilSys are Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.