Tracing persons suspected of infection with the novel coronavirus could have been done faster and more efficiently if the national ID system had already been in place, Senator Imee Marcos said.
Marcos explained that public emergencies call for quick data-sharing and coordination of government agencies with local government units, which a system of identification and tracking like the national ID system can address.
Marcos issued the statements after Health secretary Francisco Duque said in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday that they have only been able to assess 58 of 331 passengers who were on the same flights as an infected couple from Wuhan who entered the country two weeks ago.
“Ang national ID system ay isang digital information backbone na ginagamit ngayon para habulin ang paglaganap ng nCoV sa Wuhan at sa buong China. Tanggapin natin ang kagandahan ng sistemang ito para sa kapakinabangan ng publiko at huwag nang kontrahin para sa pansariling dahilan,” Marcos said.
The Philippine Identification System Act, signed by President Duterte in August 2018, legalizes the national ID system that will do away with the usual requirement of multiple IDs in government and private sector transactions like applying for health care, insurance, and licenses to making travel reservations and opening bank accounts.
Public registration for the national ID system will start with Filipino and permanent foreign residents in July this year and OFWs in mid-2021, targeting a 100 percent compliance rate by mid-2022. (senate.gov.ph)