President Duterte asked the public to give the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the national ID system a chance as he assured them that this will make their lives more convenient.
Duterte made the statement as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) kicked off the mass registration for the PhilSys on Friday.
In a short video message played during the ceremonial event, the President congratulated the two agencies for the activity and urged Filipinos to take part in the government's endeavor to establish a national ID system for their own sake.
"As we pursue this long-overdue project, I ask every Filipino to give PhilySys a chance so that we may maximize the advantages of a universal and secure database that will make transactions more efficient and our lives more convenient," he said.
"Let me assure everyone as well as apart from its primary purpose of providing a resilient digital identification system for all Filipinos, PhilSys will also uphold the privacy of all personal information," he added.
However, Duterte asked the public to make sure to follow coronavirus (COVID-19) health protocols when they go register themselves to the system.
"Allow me to stress, however, that as we go through the entire registration process, we must continue to observe health protocols to ensure our safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act in August 2018. It aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens. It also consolidates government-issued IDs but will not automatically replace existing ones.
The ID aims to boost the delivery of public service, enhance administrative governance, reduce corruption, curtail red tape, and promote ease of doing business, among others.
Information obtained from the holder includes age, gender, date and place of birth, address, mobile number, email address, marital status, blood type, and residency status in the country.
The PSA is mandated to lead the PhilSys, with support from the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Board chaired by the NEDA and composed of various government agencies.
President Duterte has registered himself to the PhilSys on January 22 this year and received his physical ID card on March 4.