Press Release
December 4, 2017

Drilon, PSA, dispel fears of data privacy breach in national ID system

A Senate panel on Monday started hearing the proposed measure that will establish a national identification system for Filipinos.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, the proposal's main author, allayed fears that the proposal would compromise the citizens' rights to privacy, saying the bill's main objective is to enhance the delivery of basic services in the country.

"We want to debunk for the record the claim that the bill may affect data privacy as the pertinent provisions of the Data Privacy Act will still apply," Drilon said during the Senate Committee on Public Order's hearing on the proposed measure.

In a statement, Drilon said that the proposed measure should not be viewed as a threat to security as the bill's main objective is "to ensure efficient delivery of service and ease transactions with government agencies.

"There will be proper safeguards so as not to interfere with the individual's right to privacy. It will also be ensured that unscrupulous persons will not have access to confidential information," he stressed.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), through Undersecretary Lisa Grace Bersales, also dispelled fears of a possible breach in privacy, saying that the agency has not had any breach in its data record. The agency also committed to submit its proposed bill at the soonest.

Asked by the committee chair Senator Panfilio Lacson whether the security breach is a misplaced concern, Usec. Bersales answered, "yes, it's a misplaced concern."

Drilon said that the data that are being proposed to be included in the national ID system would not be different from the information that are currently present in all government-issued IDs.

Drilon explained that a Common Reference Number (CRN) will be given to all Filipinos containing essential information such as full name, address, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, CRN and date of card issuance, along with a recent photo.

He emphasized that the the CRN/ID can be used by a citizen in its transactions with all branches of the government, thereby making it move convenient for Filipinos to avail of government services. The minority leader expressed confidence that the measure will be passed into law and implemented in 2018.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives leadership have identified SBN 15 as a priority measure of the 17th Congress, he noted.

"The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has committed to undertake the initial phase with a P2 billion budget for 2018. This will be used for biometrics, verification and issuance of the ID," Drilon said.

For the initial phase, Drilon suggested to cover those 18 years old and above, which account to about 62.6 million Filipinos.

Drilon also proposed to use and integrate the the existing system of various agencies such as the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Commission on Elections, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philhealth, among others. In total, these agencies have covered about 93 percent of the pollution.

He said that Department of Information and Communication Technology should take lead in interoperatibility and interconnectivity systems.

News Latest News Feed