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Higher penalty for refusing to recognize national ID sought

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker from Mindanao has filed a bill that will increase the penalty for refusing to accept or recognize the Philippine Identification System (Philsys) or national ID as the “only identification” card.

Cagayan de Oro 1st District Rep. Lordan Suan has filed House Bill 10450, which shall amend the Philsys Act. It aims to promote the use of Philsys ID by having it recognized by all government and private entities.

Under the existing law, non-acceptance of the national ID as a valid proof of identify of the holder is punishable with a fine of P500,000.

With Suan’s proposed measure, the fine for this violation shall be P1 million.

This stemmed from reports that some establishments, especially private ones, do not recognize the national ID as the single proof of identity of the holder because it lacks signature.

Such establishments would demand another ID as proof of identity.

The law providing for the national ID was enacted by former president Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018 to harmonize and integrate and interconnect the redundant government IDs into a single system.

As of September last year, around 81 million Filipinos have registered for the Philsys IDs, but only 39.7 million of them have received their physical ID cards while 41.2 million were issued only the printed-on-paper ID cards.