Nearly two years have passed since the National ID system became a law, but why is it not yet being implemented at a time it is most needed?
This is what Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson want to find out as they sought a Senate probe into the implementation of the National ID system.
Sotto and Lacson on Wednesday filed the Senate resolution directing the appropriate Senate panel to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the status of Republic Act 11055, the Philippine Identification System Act, “with the end view of ensuring its prompt and full-scale implementation to achieve its intended purpose.” Sotto told Senate media the resolution was filed as Senate Resolution 352.
“Almost two years from its enactment into law and the approval of its (implementing rules and regulations), there seems to be no significant headway on its implementation,” they said in the resolution.
Before the filing of the resolution, Sotto and Lacson – the main sponsor of the measure in the Senate – questioned the seeming lack of implementation of the National ID system, which could have greatly helped in the distribution of the social amelioration program to poor families affected by the COVID19-triggered lockdowns.
The National ID system would have facilitated key government services and transactions while helping law enforcement agencies fight crimes, they added in their resolution.
“No less than President Rodrigo Duterte has recently acknowledged that the National ID system would have avoided the unnecessary delay in the delivery of emergency subsidy program,” they noted.
On the other hand, Lacson and Sotto noted the National ID law’s implementing rules and regulations were approved and signed Oct. 5, 2018, two months after the law itself was signed.
A P2-billion budget was allocated for the National ID system under the budget of the Philippine Statistics Authority as lead implementing agency.
From 2018 to 2020 General Appropriations Act, a budget of P2 billion had been allotted for the National ID system every year, totaling P6.096 billion for three years. Yet, it was only on Sept. 2, 2019 that the PSA conducted the first pilot testing for the National ID program.