The Philippine National Police (PNP) reminded the public Friday, May 21, to strictly observe the minimum health standards when registering for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) amid concerns of protocol violations in Bulacan.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar issued the reminder after learning about an incident in San Jose Del Monte town where around 4,000 people flocked to a mall last Wednesday to register for the national ID system even if they allegedly did not have appointments.
Photos and videos of the incident that showed how social distancing was disregarded by the attendees were posted on social media by concerned citizens.
“Maganda po ang layunin nitong national ID para sa ating lahat. Kaya nga lamang po, dapat po natin siguraduhin na ating sinusunod ang minimum health safety protocols sa registration. Ang ating pagpaparehistro para sa national ID ay hindi dapat maging super spreader event na sanhi pa ng hawaan ng COVID-19 (The national ID will be beneficial for all of us. However, we need to ensure that we are following the minimum health safety protocols in the registration. Our registration for the national ID should not be a super spreader event which might result to the spread of COVID-19),” Eleazar said.
The PhilSys is the national government’s central identification platform for all citizens and resident aliens where an individual’s personal information is recorded in one system. The resulting ID would then be considered official and sufficient proof of his/her identity.
The national ID would serve as the official government-issued identification document of its holder in transacting with all national and local government agencies.
Due to the San Jose Del Monte fiasco, Eleazar directed all police commanders to monitor the PhilSys registration venues in their respective areas of responsibility. He also told them to closely coordinate with the local government units (LGU) in order to provide them assistance if needed.
“Hindi po natin alam kung ang iyong sinusundan o kasunod sa pila o ‘di kaya kasiksikan ay COVID-positive o hindi. Kaya kailangan pa din natin mag-ingat at gawin ang minimum health standards lalo na ang pananatili ng physical distancing at ang pag-iwas sa mga mass gathering (We do not know if the person next to you in a queue is COVID-positive or not. That’s why we need to be careful and obey the minimum health standards especially in maintaining physical distancing and refraining from going to mass gatherings),” Eleazar said.
The police chief said registering for the national ID system should be done by schedule only to avoid the unnecessary crowds.
The San Jose del Monte LGU had said that only 1,600 people were sent an appointment via text message that they could register for the national ID. However, an estimated 4,000 people showed up, most of them hoping to secure an appointment through walk-in.
The same LGU has to yet issue an advisory whether or not the persons who were involved in the PhilSys registration mess should be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has advised people to visit the national ID registration portal to schedule an appointment at the nearest physical registration center for the submission of required documents and biometric information.