Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) opposes measures seeking a national identification (ID) system, fearing that it will be abused for state surveillance and third party data leaks amid the militarization of the bureaucracy.
At a time when more and more military officers are occupying key government positions and extrajudicial killings persist, reviving the idea of a national ID system sends an ominous sign to Filipinos resisting fascist rule and defending civil liberties. We fear that the national ID system will be used to conduct intensified surveillance and carry out more bloody operations against activists and even drug addicts amid the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) all-out war campaign and the war on drugs. It will facilitate the creation of a “Big Brother” state constantly spying on every move of its citizens.
Authors of the measure have argued that the ID system is necessary for the improvement of social service delivery. But we assert that such measure will not cure the basic problems of social service delivery in the country: meager budget for direct social services, privatization of healthcare, housing, education, and other basic services, and patronage politics down to the local level. We believe that existing databases of personal information are sufficient for government programs to reach intended beneficiaries.
While it prohibits unlawful disclosure of personal information, national ID system bill pending in Congress does not have a penal provision for such. We expect that more data leaks similar or even worse in magnitude compared to the “Comeleak” breach of voters’ personal information will occur at the expense of personal privacy. #