Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Thursday, Oct. 14 pushed for a faster rollout of the National ID system to help Filipinos cope with the problems brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lacson, one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said the National ID could address issues including “ayuda” (financial assistance) and other social services.
He pointed out that the National ID system, along with digitalization and interoperability of systems in government agencies, would minimize the chances of corruption.
As of October 8, 2021, 43.2 million Filipinos have registered at Step 1 of the National ID system and 35.9 million have finished Step 2 where biometrics are taken, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua told senators during a budget hearing yesterday.
By next year, 22 million Filipinos are targeted to be added among those already registered aside from the five million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), he added.
“Ito dapat i-accelerate ang rollout ng implementation. It will solve a lot of issues: ayuda, social services, laban sa graft, red tape. Ang daming ma-solve kung fully implemented ang National ID system (We have to accelerate the rollout of the National ID system. It will solve a lot of issues including ayuda, social services, and minimizing graft and red tape),” Lacson said at a media forum in Quezon City today.
Lacson, a presidential aspirant, noted that while many have voiced doubts about the National ID before it was signed into law, they now realize its importance especially during the pandemic.
This would complement the digitalization of the government’s processes, noting governments like South Korea have become quite seamless due to it, Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security committee, said.
Even in China, the customs system is online and has virtually no room for human intervention, he added.
“Imagine how much we can save from public funds kung may interoperability ang ating government processes, transactions between and among government agencies, private sector and government. Less human intervention, less corruption if not ma-stop ang corruption (Imagine how much we can save from public funds if there is interoperability of government processes, transactions between and among government agencies, and with the private sector and government. There is less human intervention and less corruption, if not a stop to corruption),” he added.