MANILA – Opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon once again defended the Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys Act), saying it can be an effective tool in preventing fraudulent transactions.
Drilon urged the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to be more open in sharing data relevant to service delivery for the PhilSys Act to be more effective.
“The establishment of a single national ID system and an effective data sharing between and among government agencies could help prevent fraudulent transactions from arising in the future,” Drilon said.
Among the instances cited by Drilon was the alleged refusal of the PSA to confirm whether the patients of a dialysis center claiming benefits with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) had died.
Drilon said the simple sharing of data could help prevent fraudulent transactions such as the “ghost dialysis” treatment controversy that plagued the PhilHealth which caused the government billions of pesos.
“The fact of death is not a sensitive personal information that PSA should withhold, particularly if it involves the disbursement of public funds,” Drilon said. “What danger would it pose to the deceased person, or his or her family, if PhilHealth knows that he or she is already dead?”
“None. This is just a factual question answerable by just yes or no, but is very important for PhilHealth and other agencies disbursing public funds for the benefits of claimants to know in order to verify the legitimacy of a claim and prevent fake, illegal and fraudulent transactions,” he added.
Drilon’s law mandates the establishment of a single national identification system for all Filipinos, here and abroad, in order to enhance the delivery of basic services to the public and eliminate corruption, among others.
Under the national ID system, a common reference number will be given to all Filipinos containing essential information such as full name, address, date, place of birth, sex, civil status, signature, date of card issuance, along with a recent photo./PN