National ID to substantially save cost for Philippines

Savings could amount to as much as two per cent of the country’s gross domestic product

Manila: Aside from improving the efficiency in the delivery of services to the people, the planned national ID system will result in significant savings to the government.

According to National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Lisa Bersales, the impending implementation of a national identification system, will result in savings amounting to as much as two per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over a five-year period of the project’s planned implementation.

According to economic experts, the country’s GDP in 2017 was estimated to be at $986.98 billion (Dh3.624 trillion).

The GDP is the market value of goods as well as services produced in a certain country over a certain period of time.

Bersales said the savings would be possible because the National ID systems will help plug leakages from social protection programmes of the government, including conditional cash transfers (CCT), unconditional cash transfers (UCCs), and benefits for senior citizens.

The Senate and House versions of the national ID measure is now undergoing bicameral deliberations and is expected to be signed by the president soon.

Bersales, during the recently-concluded 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank, said once the national ID law has been passed and signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, “the Philippine Statistics Authority would be able to provide ID numbers and capture biometrics in five years for 107 million Filipino citizens and non-Filipino residents.”

In turn, the savings can be used to boost funding for vital government projects and programmes, such as infrastructure and social services.

Senator Panilo Lacson earlier assured as he said that all government agencies are solidly supporting the national ID measure which seeks to integrate and interconnect “countless and redundant” government-issued IDs with a National ID system.

There are currently 33 different functional identification cards issued by the various government agencies. Previous efforts by past administrations to pass a national ID law were unsuccessful due to fears that laws safeguarding private information would be breached.

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