Agencies sign agreement on unified ID system

Published by rudy Date posted on March 17, 2009

The government will start implementing the Unified Multipurpose Identification, or UMID, system by August to members of the Social Security System (SSS) and later to other government agencies, including the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the registered voters.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) represented by Administrator Carmelita Ericta and social security President Romulo Neri on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the unified ID. It was previously referred to in media reports as the national ID system, but the name was changed to allay fears of some sectors that claim the IDs could be abused by state forces.

Ralph Recto, chief of the National Economic and Development Authority, witnessed the signing ceremony on Monday.

The unified ID system established through Executive Order 420 aims to streamline and harmonize the various government ID systems, as well as to facilitate transactions with government and access to health and other public services.

The unified ID system is now being implemented on a pilot basis in three agencies: the National Economic and Development Authority, the National Statistics Office and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Neri told reporters that he expects the unified ID for SSS members by August or September this year.

He said the Social Security System plans to issue 10 million IDs within 2009 and eventually to more than 50 million Filipinos in two years for all its members nationwide.

“We’re also talking to CICT [Commission on Information and Communications Technology] to arrange with Comelec so that when we issue an ID so it’s also good as voter’s ID,” Neri added.

Billion-peso project

Government would spend about P2.5 billion to P3 billion for the implementation of ID system, he said. Of the total, P600 million is allotted for the purchase of automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS).

“The ID proper will cost at least P100 to P150 per card,” he said, adding that the bidding for the procurement will be in May and April for the fingerprint ID system.

The Supreme Court earlier ruled that the implementation of the unified ID system was within the President’s power and prerogative as Chief Executive, as the plan merely seeks to streamline, harmonize, and reduce the cost of maintaining the different ID systems in government.

Daniel Pabellon, assistant director general of the development authority, earlier said the unified ID would have a common reference number, which is an individual’s unique identifier during his or her lifetime.

This is generated by the Common Reference Number Registry or database that assigns each Filipino a number comprising his or her personal information. The information would be limited only to the 14 data items (name, sex, home address, picture, signature, birthplace, birth date, marital status, name of parents, height, weight, two index fingerprints, two thumb marks, any prominent distinguishing feature and Tax Identification Number) as specified in Executive Order 420.

The registry is to be maintained by the Central Verification and Enroll­ment Agency under the National Statistics Office. –Darwin G. Amojelar, Reporter, Philippine Star

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