Implementation of a national identification system, one of the priority reforms of the Duterte Administration, will not only improve efficiency in the delivery of public services but also result in significant savings for the government.
In turn, the savings can be used to boost funding for vital government projects and programs, such as infrastructure and social services.
According to Lisa Bersales, the country’s National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, estimates showed that the government could save an amount equivalent to 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over a five-year period with the implementation of the National ID system.
Savings will arise from the fact that a national ID system can help plug leakages from social protection programs of the government, including conditional cash transfers (CCT), unconditional cash transfers (UCCs), and benefits for senior citizens.
A bill seeking to implement the proposed National ID System has already passed both Houses of Congress, and is now undergoing bicameral deliberations.
Once the bill is enacted into law, “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,” Bersales said in one of the seminars in the concluded 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank.
The National ID System is strongly advocated by the Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, given its potential to boost efficiency of government services delivery.
The BSP also said a national ID system would aid efforts toward financial inclusion, as it would help the marginalized access formal channels of financial services.
The 51st ADB Annual Meeting was hosted by the Philippines. Seminars in the event were held at the ADB headquarters in Mandaluyong City and nearby areas from May 3-6, 2018.
Host-country media partners included BusinessMirror, BusinessWorld, CNN Philippines, Manila Bulletin, and Philippine Star.