By Mary Judaline Partlow
DUMAGUETE CITY – Officials of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Negros Oriental assured the public on Wednesday that the government’s Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) will not pose a threat to anyone’s privacy.
Ariel Fortuito, PSA provincial director, and Ma. Felida Generoso, PSA Supervising Statistical Specialist, gave the assurance during the “Kapihan sa PIA” forum at a local hotel here where the government’s ID system, as well as the upcoming census on population and housing, were discussed.
Contrary to misinformation regarding the PhilSys ID, the identification card will only carry with it the minimum personal information of the card-bearer even though it will become the most useful and handy credentials for many, Fortuito said.
He also clarified that it is optional for a person to register and apply for a PhilSys ID, and not mandatory as some people believe it to be.
The PhilSys, he said, will be the central identification platform of the government for Filipino citizens as well as resident aliens of the Philippines for at least one year.
It will make transactions a lot easier for the public, especially with government agencies that require at least two or more government IDs, considering that many citizens find it difficult to obtain a government-issued ID card especially if they lack the requirements or qualifications.
But Fortuito said the PhilSys would not replace other government IDs and credentials such as driver’s license or passport.
Generoso, on the other hand, said that the PhilSys ID card will simply bear the name, birthday, and other basic information of the bearer, and not details such as bank accounts or lawsuits of that person as suspected by many.
The home address and even gender are among those not included in the information found on the PhilSys ID card, because, these can change anytime, she said.
Fortuito said the PSA will pilot-test the PhilSys from July 2020 until January 2021 at the PSA offices in the province.
This will help the agency determine certain concerns, such as the length of time for one person to fill out registration forms, he said.
After the period for pilot-testing is over, the PSA will start the registration at their offices, designated offices in local government units, and even via mobile registration for remote areas, he added.
Fortuito also debunked reports that the PhilSys requires a registration fee.
It is issued for free, he said, and can be updated within a certain time frame. However, for lost PhilSys ID cards, one has to pay for the issuance of a new one, he said. (PNA)