by Genalyn Kabiling
A national identification (ID) system will soon be established after President Duterte gave the green light to the project aimed at improving the delivery of government services.
In the proposed 2018 national budget, the President has allocated P2 billion for the Philippine Statistics Authority to roll out the “biometrics-based national ID system.”
Duterte said the national ID project would help ease the delivery of social services, particularly to ensure that only rightful recipients of the government’s P89.4-billion conditional cash transfer program would enjoy such benefits.
“With built-in Europe, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chips containing an individual’s personal information and biometric, the national ID will ensure the effective implementation of government services, more specifically social benefits and transfers to entitled individuals,” Duterte said in his budget message to Congress.
He said the national ID system could also be used for applications for passport, driver’s license, and other services from agencies such as Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund, and the National Bureau of Investigation.
The government has allocated some P89.4 billion for the CCT program to benefit 4.4 million poor households next year. The poverty alleviation program includes educational grants, livelihood aid, and health services for the beneficiaries.
The President said the government would be strict when it comes to the eligibility requirements of the CCT and in monitoring whether or not the beneficiaries are moving out of the poverty line.
For 2018, the government also proposed P7.1 billion to help jobless Filipinos with technical-vocational skills training and financial assistance.
Around P25.7 billion from the proceeds of the tax reform package will cover the “unconditional cash transfer” of P200 per month or P2,400 for a year for the country’s 10 million poorest households.