Valenzuela City Representative Win Gatchalian, one of the senatorial candidates of the Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) of presidential candidate Grace Poe and vice-presidential bet Francise ‘Chiz’ Escudero, is in favor of having a national identification system.
Human rights advocates and militant groups have been opposing a national ID system for fear that such scheme would violate a citizen’s right to privacy and would be prone to abuse by the state.
Gatchalian said the national ID system is an important tool to combat money laundering in the banking system and improve delivery of services by the government.
Gatchalian maintained that having strict bank practices, such as the know-your-client rule, coupled with a biometrics-based national ID system, could be used as an additional safeguard to prevent money laundering in banks and other financial institutions.
“A national ID system which is biometrics-based would prevent money launderers from creating fictitious bank accounts as what had happened to the case of the recent USD81-million money laundering case involving the Jupiter branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp,” Gatchalian said.
Although the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has adopted a biometrics-based ID system, the country has yet to institutionalize a national ID system which has been endorsed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an effective tool against organized crime groups such as drug syndicates, kidnap-for-ransom gangs and bank robbery syndicates.
Gatchalian said what he has in mind is a “personal reference number” or PRN that will be generated by the Philippine Statistics Authority for every individual registered in the National Database System (NDS) which will be created under a proposed bill that he will immediately file if he wins a Senate seat.
“My proposed bill seeks to establish a modern, comprehensive and secure national data base system that will streamline the process of obtaining common official documents and facilitate succeeding transactions of the public while keeping the integrity of government records or documents and promoting good governance,” explained Gatchalian.
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