Pres Marcos should issue executive order for DICT’s help in national IDs – Sec Remulla

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should issue an executive order that would transfer to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) certain functions of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to expedite the issuance of national identity card of Filipinos under the 2018 Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) law.

In a legal opinion, Remulla said “to fully realize the objectives of the PhilSys Act, there is a necessity to reorganize the Executive Department, by transferring some of the functions of the PSA under the PhilSys Act to the DICT, for purposes of rolling-out the digital PhilSys ID.”

“To do this, the corresponding Executive Order must be issued providing for the same, specifically directing the PSA to grant DICT access to the data needed for producing digital PhilSys IDs,” he said.

Remulla noted that during a sectoral meeting last April 25, “the President expressed his utmost desire to expedite the roll-out of the PhilSys ID considering that the law remains not fully implemented despite its enactment five (5) years ago.”

“Thus, the DICT and the PSA were instructed to accelerate the roll-out of the digital PhilSys ID,” he added.

He said the President’s directive “is in accordance of Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that the President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices.”

He stressed that the constitutional mandate “gives the President the continuing authority to reorganize the Executive branch.”

“Jurisprudence has likewise recognized this continuing power of the President to reorganize the offices and agencies in the executive department in line with the President’s constitutionally granted power of control over executive offices,” said Remulla who cited some of Supreme Court (SC) rulings related to the issue.

The opinion of the secretary of justice was sought by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin who asked for the DOJ chief’s position on the collaboration of the PSA and the DICT to accelerate the roll-out of the PhilSys IDs.

In his legal opinion, Remulla also noted that the PSA is primary implementing agency of Republic Act (RA) No. 11055, the PhilSys Act.

The PSA engaged the services of Madras Security Printers Private Limited, in joint venture with Mega Data Corporation, under a contract for consultancy services as Systems Integrator for Supply, Delivery, Installation, and Maintenance of PhilSys.