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SWS poll shows ‘extremely strong’net approval for National ID system

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A SURVEY by the Social Weather Stations released Tuesday night showed 73% of respondents approving a National ID system.

Net approval for the recently enacted identification system was an “extremely strong” +55, according to the polling group’s 2nd quarter survey, conducted June 27-30.

The survey showed three out of five respondents saying the National ID system will be a big help to them.

On whether the government can be trusted to protect private information contained in the National ID,” 61% agreed, and 8% disagreed, leading to a net agreement score of “extremely strong” +53.

The survey also found that 49% have much trust, 39% are undecided, and 13% have little trust that the government will not use the National ID against those who oppose them. This gives a net trust score of “good” +36.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted among 1,200 respondents: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

In a related development, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday said it is considering a privacy impact assessment of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) to identify and minimize privacy risks in the newly-enacted system.

“With the advice of the National Privacy Commission (NPC), we plan to have a Privacy Impact Assessment of our National ID System, which should be done by a third party. This is just to assure everyone that PSA has already instituted proper rules, guidelines, both technical and processes to ensure privacy of our citizens and those that are in the database,” National Statistician Lisa Grace S. Bersales said in a press briefing at Malacañang on Wednesday morning, Aug. 8.

She added that PhilSys “will only answer who you are and who you really say you are…”

“So, its primary objective is to provide identity to citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines; and for those that they will transact with, to be able to authenticate their identities,” Ms. Bersales also said.

There will be 11 demographic details that will be put in the ID, according to Mr. Bersales, “[three] of which are optional. Then, we will have the biometrics. These information are the only ones that will be in the PhilSys data base.”

The information will include full name, birthday, birth place, sex, blood type, address, nationality. The biometrics will include facial image, iris image, and ten-finger capture. The optional details are marital status, e-mail address, and mobile number.

The PSA, according to Ms. Bersales, continues to seek inputs and feedback from the public and other stakeholders as it develops its implementation plan.

As for the budget, the PSA has P2 billion in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for fiscal year 2018. “I would like to say that we have not utilized it, because we were waiting for the President to sign the bill into law just so we have the legal basis for utilizing the budget,” she said.

The official also said non-holders of the National ID will encounter “difficulty” in doing business with the government and the private sector.

“The requirement for doing business will be the National ID. It’s really more about accessing benefits. But if they don’t want to access benefits from government, then they will not really need to have an ID,” Ms. Bersales said. — with a report by Arjay L. Balinbin