(File photo)

MANILA – Partido Reporma standard-bearer, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, on Thursday lauded President Rodrigo R. Duterte's executive order institutionalizing the acceptance of the Philippine Identification (PhiIID) or Philippine Identification System Number (PSN) as sufficient proof of identity in all private and government transactions.

He added that this means better and easier lives for Filipinos as well as foreign nationals residing and doing business in the Philippines.

"Thank you President Rodrigo Duterte for this. Being an author/sponsor of the measure in the Senate and a longtime advocate of the National ID system like you, I support you unequivocally in this regard," Lacson said in a Twitter post.

Under Executive Order 162, the President cited "an urgent need to institutionalize the acceptance of the PhilID and PSN, as authenticated, as sufficient proof of identity and age in all government and private transactions, to improve efficiency in the delivery of social services, strengthen financial inclusion and promote ease of doing business."

Lacson authored and sponsored the PhilSys (National ID) measure in the Senate, in hopes not only of helping fight crime but also allowing better access to social services for all Filipinos.

He cited the national ID system's value in accelerating the delivery of social and other forms of public services by the government, as well as access of the public to services from the private sector - minus the hassle of bringing several different ID cards issued by various agencies.

Lacson, who had also spent 30 years as a law enforcer, pointed out as well the value of the national ID system in giving authorities the needed tools to fight crime and corruption.

The national ID system will also help the government improve its system of revenue collection, he added.

On the other hand, Lacson reiterated his call to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to address the issue of delays in the delivery of national ID cards and to intensify its information drive on how to apply for the PhilSys cards.

"It bears repeating that the PSA should expedite the printing and delivery of the national ID cards - as well as renew and intensify its information drive on how Filipinos can apply for them," he said.

Signed into law by 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, enrolment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.

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