What to expect when the NATIONAL ID SYSTEM becomes a law

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What to expect when the NATIONAL ID SYSTEM becomes a law
There might be a bit of a caveat here.

The bill seeking to establish a national identification (ID) system for all Filipinos here and abroad recently passed the first reading at the House of Representatives, making it a few steps nearer into becoming a law.

Once passed into law, the National ID System will require all Filipinos residing anywhere in the world to register their personal information into the central system to be managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The system, in effect, shall streamline all government transactions and unify all basic needs of the citizens.

To date, the Philippines is one of only 9 countries in the world without a national ID system. There are 196 countries in the world.


How the National ID System works

  1. A registered Filipino will be issued a non-transferable national ID card with a number that shall be valid for life.
  2. Filipinos residing or working overseas are to register for their IDs at the nearest Philippine embassy or consular office in the country where they are staying.
  3. The national ID card would be honored in transactions concerning a person's identity, marital status, birth, and other personal circumstances. 
  4. It would be the official document to be honored in transactions with national government agencies, local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations, and government financial institutions.
  5. The ID may be used for applications for passport, driver's license, Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), and the National Bureau of Investigation.
  6. The national ID card may also be used to identify voters, schools, and employees, as well as to avail of senior citizens' benefits. It may also be used for court, prosecutor, and police clearances, and in banking and financial institutions.


However, there's always a catch in every perk.

In countries where a national ID system is already in place, there are penalties for not carrying a national ID card; in some cases a person may be detained until identity is proven. This way the police can identify fugitives. In some countries, police need a reason, such as crime suspicion or security risk. In other countries, police can ask for the NID without stating a reason.

Let us compare.

The U.S. passport card is the de jure national identity card of the United States of America. The passport card is issued by the federal government via the Department of State upon voluntary request. The primary purpose of the passport card is used as a Federal issued Identity card. Passport cards are also conclusive proof of U.S. citizenship under federal law, accepted for domestic airline travel and generally proof of identity/citizenship both inside and outside the United States.

In China, the NID card is first issued at school age, it is compulsory at 16, and like most of the NID countries, must be carried at all times. Penalties of fines or up to imprisonment for those caught not possessing it.

In Germany, fines may only be applied if an identity card is not possessed at all, if the document is expired or if one explicitly refuses to show ID to the police. If one is unable to produce an ID card during a police control, one can (in theory) be brought to the next police post and detained for a maximum of 12 hours, or until positive identification is possible.

North Korea is probably the country which imposes the strongest fines for citizens not carrying NID cards. To travel North Koreans need not only an identity card, but also a "travel pass", with specified destination and written permission. Sometimes citizens may be punished with time in a labor camp for not carrying their cards, however this is often only a short sentence and people are usually released upon presentation of the card at a later date.

In Botswana, the NID card must be presented upon request by any agent of the state, and the state requires all non-state institutions to use the National ID card as the only acceptable means of identification for citizens - passports and driver's licenses should not be used.

In Bangladesh, National ID card is compulsory for all citizens at the age of 18. All Bangladeshis are issued with an NID Card which can be used to obtain a passport, Driving License, credit card, and to register land ownership.

Possession of a Polish National Identity Card is also compulsory at 18. Those who do not comply with the relevant law are subject to "restriction of freedom" (whatever that means...) for up to one month or a fine.


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