Published April 21, 2017, 12:13 PM

Despite the idea of the Philippines having a national identification (ID) system getting approval of President Duterte, Malacañang said it is not a priority at the moment.

President Duterte vows to repay OFWs for their hard work, sacrifice, and help in the economy in his arrival statement after his week-long state visit to three countries in the Middle East during the Holy Week. He also assured of the continuing repatriation program for OFWs who want to return to the country. ( Jun Ryan Arañas | Manila Bulletin)

However, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, said the administration is open to the idea.

“PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) is open to the idea of a National ID system but at the moment it is not included in his legislative priority agenda,” Abella said.

The proposal of having a national ID system was recently brought back to life during President Duterte’s state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Holy Week.

In his meeting with the members of the Filipino community in Riyadh on Holy Wednesday, overseas Filipino workers said they wanted a national ID system in the Philippines like the one in the Kingdom.

Duterte, in response to the query, said the government is now working on it because having a national ID system is “good.” He also assured them that it is now pending in Congress.

However, he asked the OFWs to be patient as he is only in the first nine months of his six-year term.

Lawmakers have been pushing for a national ID system as the Philippines is one of the nine countries in the world without one.

The proposed Filipino identification system will consolidate all government-issued ID systems into one to improve government services and limit red tape in government transactions. It is also seen to lower costs, streamline transactions, and provide ease and convenience.

Courtesy of Manila Bulletin