(Photo courtesy of Philippine National ID)

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act ensures the protection of each PhilID cardholder from the unlawful disclosure of his information or records.

Section 21 of the Implementing Rules and Guidelines (IRR) of the PhilSys Act says, “Any information obtained as a result of unlawful disclosure under the PhilSys Act shall be inadmissible in any judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative proceedings.”

This measure safeguards each PhilID cardholder from being harassed by anybody using his personal information recorded at the PhilSys Registry, which is the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This section of the IRR clarifies that the records of a PhilID cardholder are kept private unless given consent by the holder and in identified circumstances.

It prohibits any person from disclosing, collecting, recording, conveying, disseminating, publishing, or using any information of PhilSys registered persons.

It also disallows any person to give access thereto or give copies to third parties or entities, including law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, or units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The prohibitions however will be allowed under the following circumstances:

a) “When the registered person has given prior consent, specific only to the disclosed particular purpose; and

b) When the compelling interest of public health or safety so requires, and provided that the risk of significant harm to the public is established, the relevant information may be disclosed upon order of a competent court. The owner of the information shall be notified by PSA within 72 hours of the fact of such disclosure to the requesting party.”

 The IRR however further clarified the information disclosed with the consent of the holder and due to compelling interest of public health and safety shall only be used for the authorized specific use as stated and be divulged only to the person so authorized.

PSA disseminates these security measures of the PhilSys Act to guarantee the public that PhilSys-registered persons are amply protected under the PhilSys Act.

Several detractors of the current administration are campaigning against PhilSys claiming it is primarily designed to keep track of questionable people, which for them is in violation of the human rights law and the right of individuals to privacy.

Signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.

The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.

It also seeks to boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. (PNA)