It took over a decade for the National ID to pass muster against the critics who touted it being the biggest threat to a person’s right to privacy from lawless elements to even the Government (or should I say those who will unlawfully use public office to dig into private information of individuals).
Back then, there was no Data Privacy Law. Reliance on privacy laws were placed on shades and partial mention in the Constitution, Civil Law, and Jurisprudence. There really was no legal framework in place to assure everyone that their privacy is protected.
Now with a privacy regulator showing it can do the job of policing and guarding an individual’s right to privacy, including against the Government, it was no wonder how the public opinion of a National ID changed. It took four administrations for it to happen.
Curiously, its acceptance as to its primary function is now put into question as businesses, including banks, and even certain Government agencies have reportedly refused to acknowledge it as a valid means of identity verification . Yes, you have a National ID but can you please show us another Government ID?
The very function of the National ID is to be the primary and foremost means of identification of a citizen (and hopefully in the future to absorb all other Government IDs). Not being accepted as an ID speaks volumes of its now function. Is it just another plastic to fatten a person’s wallet?
The reason for non-acceptance being cited is that the National ID does not bear a signature. To which, a resource person from Chief Implementer of the National ID responds, stating that the National ID Law did not require the collection of signature and added that a law would be required if signatures would indeed be needed.
Notwithstanding, it is correct to state that a National ID does not need a signature anymore as it has security features against counterfeiting and even identity theft. In fact, the non-requirement of a signature is a big protection against identity theft as a person’s signature will not be readily available.
As with many things that will become part of everyone’s life, it will take some time for their to be a national consciousness on the function and value of the National ID. Perhaps, and by way of suggestion to accelerate the process, the Philippine Statistics Authority as the Chief Implementer may want to have educational campaigns, not only on social media, but also on every industry organizations and major business groups to ensure the acceptance of the National ID in commercial transactions.