Philippines president signs national ID system into law
© Wikimedia (Presidential Communications Operations Office)

Philippines president signs national ID system into law

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines signed the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act of 2018 into law Monday, creating its first national identification system, which will be issued to all citizens and foreign residents in the Philippines.

The goal of the system, Duterte said, is for safety and better privacy, efficiency, reduced corruption and a simplified system. Previously, there were several sets of identification mechanisms across the country, but Philippines remained one of the few in the world with no national ID system.

Duterte said during the signing ceremony “[T]he Philippine ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption, and criminal issues as well as terrorism and violent extremism.”

Data in the system will include: name; sex; marital status, birthdate and location; address; residency status; optional phone and email information; and biometrics information such as facial image, fingerprints, and an iris scan.

The bill was approved and ratified by Congress in May, and now that it is signed, the rollout process [CNN report] should begin immediately, with priority to low-income residents, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.