MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan has ordered all police commanders to help secure the National ID System registration that will start in 32 provinces on Oct. 12, the Joint Task Force Covid Shield said on Sunday.
“Police personnel on the ground should not only ensure the security of those hired by the government to collect data but also to make sure that the minimum health safety standard protocols are properly observed during the entire process of data-gathering,” JTF Covid Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said in a statement.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) targets to conduct the registration under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), initially in 32 provinces that are considered low-risk areas for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The National ID System was signed into law in 2018 and was aimed at providing each Filipino a unique number and an ID card to make it easier for Filipinos, particularly the poor, to have access to the banking system and other services.
Eleazar said police commanders were ordered to start coordinating with both the PSA and the local government units, where the interview and data-gathering would be held, in order to come up with security and health safety procedures for the entire registration process.
He said the participation of the police in the national ID registration is essential in securing both the enumerators/supervisors who were hired to conduct house-to-house visit and the residents they would visit.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said appropriate measures have been established to prevent possible Covid-19 transmission during the PhilSys registration activity.
“We will deploy additional PNP and barangay officials and volunteers to enforce the safeguards and minimum health standards,” Año said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency.
The PSA has hired at least 5,000 personnel to interview and collect data from the target households in 32 provinces.
The data-gathering is just the first of the three-part process — the other two are the visit of people to the designated centers for the biometrics, and the last process would be the issuance of the national ID.
The first wave of the registration would be in Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Isabela, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Laguna and Quezon.
Also included are Camarines Sur, Albay, Masbate, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Compostela Valley and Tawi-Tawi.
The registration for Metro Manila residents and other areas will start next year.
In April, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the National Economic and Development Authority to hasten the implementation of PhilSys.
The ID will contain the PhilSys number, full name, facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type, and address of the concerned individual.
The PSA aims to register an estimated 5 million low-income Filipinos by the end of the year and about 92 million by June 2022. (PNA)