The Philippine National Police in Manila now have a new weapon in their arsenal: an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The system comes by way of NEC Corporation, a company widely seen as a market leader in biometrics for law enforcement.
AFIS revolves around the collection and matching of fingerprint biometric data. It enables police forces to match fingerprints to individuals in criminal databases, both locally and beyond the country’s borders, similar to the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system in America.
In a statement, PNP Deputy Director explained that the implementation of AFIS is part of a general effort to make the Philippines “a safe place to live, work, invest, and do business,” adding that he and the PNP “look forward to implementing new technologies and to working with NEC to enhance the safety of the community.”
Indeed, given that the AFIS deployment is a part of the PNP’s Crime Laboratory Modernization Programme, it’s hard not to draw connections to a wider effort on the Philippine government’s part to embrace biometric technology; the country’s Commission on Elections has also been working fervently to register the biometrics of eligible voters for next year’s election.
July 23, 2015 – by Alex Perala