Police commanders were ordered on Sunday to help secure the registration of the National ID System which will start on Monday in some provinces across the country.
Gen. Camilo Cascolan, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said he had already instructed his men to start the coordination with both with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Local Government Units (LGUs), where the interview and data-gathering would be held, in order to come up with security and health safety procedures for the entire registration process.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said the involvement of the police in the national registration is essential in securing both the enumerators/supervisors who were hired to conduct house-to-house visit and the residents they would visit.
“Police personnel on the ground should not only ensure the security of those hired by the government to collect data but also to make sure that the minimum health safety standard protocols are properly observed during the entire process of data-gathering,” said Eleazar.
The PSA has hired more or less 5,000 people to interview and collect data from the target households in 32 provinces.
The first wave of the registration would be in Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Isabela, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Masbate, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Compostela Valley and Tawi-Tawi.
The registration for Metro Manila residents and other areas will start next year.
The data-gathering is just the first of the three-part process—the other two are the visit of people to the designated centers for the biometrics, and the last process would be the issuance of the national ID.
“This entire process is not an easy task especially that there is still a threat of coronavirus infection. We will extend all the assistance that we could provide to make it easier and safe both for PSA personnel and the local residents,” said Eleazar.
The national government is targeting to issue a national ID for 92 million Filipinos by June 2022.
Eleazar said that the National ID System, or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), was signed into law in 2018 and was aimed at providing each Filipino a unique number and an ID card in a move to make it easier for Filipinos, particularly the poor, to have access to the banking system and other services.
He said the implementation of the National ID System has always been factored in during the meetings of the National Task Force on COVID-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID).
This is the reason, he said, why PSA personnel have been automatically listed as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) even during the start of the implementation of the community quarantine.
Eleazar emphasized that the importance of the National ID System was highlighted in this time of pandemic as it would have facilitated the easy distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and other government programs and projects especially for the poor.