DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A militant lawmaker slammed on Wednesday the passage of the national identification (ID) system by the House Committee on population and family relations, saying it is “violative of the people’s right to privacy and even pose a serious security implication to our country.”
“Aside from the fact that this is an invasion of our people’s privacy this measure may have some very serious security implications since the proposed repository of all these data is the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that is now being controlled by a US-based firm called Unisys,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a statement.
The national ID system bill seeks to provide a national ID for all Filipinos here and abroad. The bill is set to be discussed in the plenary for 2nd reading. If the bill will be enacted into law, Filipinos are required to registered all their personal information using a system managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Zarate, however, questioned the PSA’s capacity to safeguard the personal information stored in their system.
“What is more alarming is that PSA could not even disclose safeguarding measures to monitor how troves of information would be kept and managed by these foreign companies. We are urging our colleagues to oppose the national ID system and to look into the Unisys issue and move for the PSA to finally take over the operations of the country’s civil registry system,” he said.
It can be recalled that Bayan Muna filed House Resolution 592 to inquire into the P1.59-billion 12-year contract won by the US firm Unisys Corp. over its control of PSA’s civil registry system starting March this year until 2029.
The Davao-based solon noted that the Civil Registry System-Information Technology Project Phase 2 (ITCP2) deal between PSA and Unisy will be the second contract for the US-based firm, which also won control of the first phase of the project from the defunct National Statistics Office (NSO.)
Zarate argued that Unisys had committed gross violations of the contract provisions for the project’s first phase, according 2005 and 2015 reports, respectively, of the Commission on Audit (COA).
On October 3, last year, Unisys executive Juan Ingersol Castro and PSA chief Dr. Lisa Grace Bersales signed the concession agreement for Phase 2 of the Civil Registry System-Information Technology project (CRS-ITP 2), under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
He warned that with “Unisys having unbridled control” of the civil registry system, the US government can easily have undiminished access to all civil documents of more than 100 million Filipinos.”
“CRS-ITP 2 was still awarded to Unisys, despite the company’s and glaring contractual violations and failures during the project’s first phase, as reported by the Commission on Audit in 2015,” Zarate pointed out. (davaotoday.com)