By Genalyn Kabiling
At least P30 billion would be needed for the full implementation of the national identification system within three to five years, according to National Statistician Lisa Bersales.
“We only have an indicative budget. It’s just an estimate. It’s not yet that firm, but we expect that we’ll be spending P30 billion for the three to five years,” said Bersales of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“In three to five years… ma-register nalahattayona existing people,” she added.
In a Palace press briefing, Bersales said that although the national ID system is not mandatory, they hope to cover all Filipinos under the Philippine Identification System Act within the next few years.
Bersalesexpressed hope that Filipinos would take advantage of the ID system, which aims to improve the delivery of services.
“Actually, hindipo explicit sa law na mandatory ito. No one will be forced to enroll in the national ID system,” she said.
“However, they will have difficulty in doing business with government and the other private sector eventually, because the requirement for doing business will be the national ID. So it’s really more about accessing benefits,” she added.
Bersales said an initial P2 billion budget would be used for the first phase of the national ID system.
Of the funds, she said, P1.4 billion would be used for the procurement of the ICT system for the national ID while the rest will be the maintenance and operating cost such as the crafting of the communication plan and the consulting services.
She said they needed to tap third-party providers to ensure the system designed by PSA, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and other government agencies are “really appropriate using advance technology to ensure confidentiality and security of our database.”
President Duterte recently signed Republic Act No. 11055 providing for a single national ID system of Filipinos and resident aliens. With the signing of the law, the national ID system will have a pilot launch in 2018, a mass rollout in 2019, and a target enrolment of 25 million Filipinos every year.
According to Bersales, the country’s conditional cash transfer beneficiaries, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, will be given priority in the national ID enrolment.
Bersales also allayed concerns that the national ID system poses risk to privacy and data security of Filipinos. She said a person’s basic information can only be shared with another institution either with the consent of the citizen or upon the order of the court.
“We will follow what the law says. It is very explicit in the law as to how we will – PSA, will use the data, manage the data,” she said.