Group urges Duterte to push nat”l ID system
    Mass civil registration too

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    CLARK  FREEPORT  –  The  Foundation   for   Economic  Freedom  (FEF)  called  yesterday on incoming president  Rodrigo Duterte to undertake  mass  civil  registration  and  a  national ID system. 

    FEF,  an  organization  ad – vocating  “market-friendly  reforms, good governance, and  economic  and  political  liberty,” said such measures would give people without birth certificates  to  finally  have  one  through mass civil registration  entitling them to a national ID. 

    The  group  gave  six  reasons to justify mass civil registration and national ID system. 

    “It will promote financial in – clusion  because  many  poor,  unemployed Filipinos are prevented  from  opening  bank  accounts  without  a  govern – ment-issued ID” and “strengthen  the  integrity  of  services provided for the poor, such as  the Conditional Cash Transfer  Program, PhilHealth, and SSS  benefits,” FEF said in a state ment. 

    FEF also said its proposal  “will also strengthen the integrity of our passports, which our  overseas Filipino workers use”  and “promote e-commerce because it will deter identity fraud  online and offline.” 

    Amid Duterte’s vow to fight  illegal drugs, FEF said its proposal “will strengthen the fight  against drug dealers and terrorists  who  use  false  identity  to  commit  their  nefarious  crimes.”

    Finally, FEF said the move  “will  prevent  money  laundering, as had happened in the  RCBC money laundering case  where  depositors  were  able  to open bank accounts using  fake driver’s license cards.” 

    “Mass civil registration and  a national ID system will improve the delivery of government services to every Filipi – no, as well as add efficiency  to our current system of governance,” it noted. 

    FEF said it is “imperative  that every Filipino must have  a  birth  certificate  registered  with  the  Philippine  Statistics  Authority (PSA).”

    "Presently,  numerous  Filipinos, many of whom are poor  or live in far-flung areas, do  not  have  official  birth  certificates registered with the PSA,  and therefore suffer from lack  of access to public and private  services requiring birth certifi cates.  The government must  ensure that no Filipino is with – out an official PSA birth certif – icate, which can be achieved  by  undertaking  a  mass  civil  registration,” FEF stressed.

    FEF also urged the incoming Duterte administration “to  work with Congress to immediately pass a national ID system  bill  that  would  not  only provide each Filipino with an  official  government  ID,  but  also address serious and valid concerns with respect to se curity, integrity, and privacy of  personal information.” 

    “The government must en – sure that the database of a national ID system must be se – cure  and  not  susceptible  to  hacking  as  what  happened  in  the  recent  COMELEAK  mess,” it said.

    FEF said “the government  must also prevent a national  ID system from being used as  a devastating dossier of infor – mation  against  unsuspecting  citizens and guard against its  potential misuse to systematically discriminate against certain groups and individuals.”

    “Consistent  with  Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data  Privacy Act of 2012, a national  ID system should likewise be  designed  with  privacy  built- in and adherence to the principles  of  transparency,  legit imate  purpose,  and  proportionality in processing person – al  information. A  national  ID  system  must  therefore  have  the  necessary  safeguards  and  provide  penal  sanctions  for violation of its security, integrity, and privacy so that our  citizens will be protected and  will not suffer a wrong without  remedy,” FEF said.

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