Aadhaar-Style Biometric ID Program Begins to Take Shape in Philippines

A national ID program similar to India’s biometric Aadhaar program may be starting to take shape in the Philippines.

Aadhaar-Style Biometric ID Program Begins to Take Shape in PhilippinesThe idea behind such a program first emerged in the country this past summer, when the Department of Finance set aside 2 billion PHP for a national ID program incorporating biometric data, a program that was quickly approved by the country’s president. The idea is to issue citizens a Common Reference Number that will pertain to biographic and biometric information, and a bill outlining the program has passed its final reading in the Philippines’ House of Representatives, and is now being considered by the Senate.

While the Philippine Statistics Authority had previously suggested that the government would have to start from scratch in collecting citizens’ biometrics, Senator Panfilo Lacson, who heads the subcommittee that is steering the program, recently suggested that data could be agglomerated from the previous efforts of agencies like the Commission on Elections, which has gone to great lengths to collect voters’ biometrics over the past couple of years.

The bill concerning the implementation of this national ID program is expected to be implemented early next year, and Senator Lacson has said he expects the program to take about five years to be fully implemented, with an initial phase focusing on the registration of citizens aged 18 or older.

Sources: The Manila Times, Rappler, Update Philippines

December 4, 2017 – by Alex Perala