Sotto bats for enforcement of national ID system for distribution of cash aid amid COVID-19

Sotto bats for enforcement of national ID system for distribution of cash aid amid COVID-19

The discrepancies between the beneficiary databases of the national and local government units for the social amelioration program would be solved by the full-blown execution of the national identification (ID) system, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Tuesday.

“In the problems being encountered by the government in the social amelioration program and the database, perhaps, now is the time and my suggestion is to execute and enforce the national ID system,” Sotto said in a video message to reporters.

“This amelioration program rolls out for two months and might extend to three. The national ID system has been there since over a year ago. Fast break nila, otherwise hanggang next month magulo pa rin,” he added.

Sotto said that he raised the matter to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and that the latter agreed with him.

“He said he will follow up with those concerned as soon as possible,” he added.

Budget for implementation will not be a problem, Sotto said.

In a Twitter post, Sotto urged the National Economic and Development Authority to “wake up.”

NEDA is the mother agency of the Philippine Statistics Authority—the primary implementing body for the national ID system law.

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said the delay in the implementation of the national ID system is also a factor that slows down the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s distribution of emergency aid amid the COVID-19 health emergency.

“No distribution system is perfect considering the number of families involved in the cash dole out, further complicated by a less efficient database due to the late implementation of the national ID system,” he said.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also said the implementation of a national identification (ID) system in the Philippines could help the government launch timely actions for pandemics like COVID-19 which may affect the country in the future.

“Matagal nang naipasa ang Philippine Identification System Act sa bansa. Napapanahon na upang ito’y gamitin bilang tugon sa mga emergency situations tulad ng krisis na nararanasan natin ngayon,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System Act in August 2018. It seeks to harmonize, integrate, and interconnect the countless and redundant government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.

The national ID will contain the PhilSys number, full name, facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type, and address of the concerned individual.

Philippine Statistics Authority previously said the mass enrollment for the ID system will start in mid-2020.—AOL, GMA News

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