Press Release
September 25, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday called on the government to scrap and re-bid the planned Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags project to allay any fears of irregularity and ensure that the rights of individuals are not abused.

Escudero said that aside from privacy issues, questions on the dubious procurement process and the lack of sufficient public consultations on the project have been raised.

"I ask that this project should be scrapped and re-bid to erase any suspicion of irregularity and to address legitimate concerns by various sectors about possible unwarranted state intrusion into their private lives," Escudero, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said.

"The DOTC should re-do the whole procurement process. It should also conduct exhaustive consultations so the people will know how this project will, if at all, better their lives," he said.

For a one-time fee of P350.00, the LTO plans to install tiny radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags on some 4,760,593 vehicles that will be registered starting October 1, 2009. It expects to raise P1.6 billion in revenues from the project.

The RFID chip, which is the size of a computer chip, can hold information on the vehicle and its owner, and can be monitored anytime of the day through the use of RDIF readers.

Escudero said LTO officials should clarify what information will be stored in these RFIDs, saying that the unscrupulous in government could use the RFID tags as a means to spy on critics of the administration or for other illegal activities.

"With barely nine months left into its term, this administration should go slow on multi-billion peso projects that give people the impression that it is out on a midnight-deal spree," he said.

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