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  THE ID SYSTEM (Legal Aspect)   I. CONSTITUTIONALITY: LEGALITY   I.A THE SUPREME COURT CASE AND ITS RULING   I.B DILG’s ANALYTICAL OBSERVATION ON THE SUPREME COURT CASE   II. ID SYSTEM: NATIONAL CONCEPT   III. ID SYSTEM: LOCAL CONCEPT   III.A POWER OF LGUs   III.B BARANGAY ID SYSTEM:

THE ID SYSTEM (Legal Aspect) I. CONSTITUTIONALITY: LEGALITY I.A THE SUPREME COURT CASE AND ITS RULING I.B DILG’s ANALYTICAL OBSERVATION ON THE SUPREME COURT CASE II. ID SYSTEM: NATIONAL CONCEPT III. ID SYSTEM: LOCAL CONCEPT III.A POWER OF LGUs III.B BARANGAY ID SYSTEM

I. CONSTITUTIONALITY: LEGALITY THE CASE OF OPLE VS. TORRES, 23 JULY 1998, DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT EN BANC   Facts:   Former PFVR issued on 12 December 1996 Administrative Order No. 308, which is hereby reproduced in toto, viz:   “ADOPTION OF A NATIONAL COMPUTERIZED IDENTIFICATION REFERENCE SYSTEM   WHEREAS, there is a need to provide Filipino citizens and foreign residents with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities; (underlining ours)   :

I. CONSTITUTIONALITY: LEGALITY THE CASE OF OPLE VS . TORRES , 23 JULY 1998, DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT EN BANC Facts: Former PFVR issued on 12 December 1996 Administrative Order No. 308, which is hereby reproduced in toto, viz: “ADOPTION OF A NATIONAL COMPUTERIZED IDENTIFICATION REFERENCE SYSTEM WHEREAS, there is a need to provide Filipino citizens and foreign residents with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security providers and other government instrumentalities ; (underlining ours)

WHEREAS, this will require a computerized system to properly and efficiently identify persons seeking basic services on social security and reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations; (underlining ours)   WHEREAS, a concerted and collaborative effort among the various basic services and social security providing agencies and other government instrumentalities is required to achieve such a system; NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby direct the following:   SECTION 1. Establishment of a National Computerized Identification Reference System.- A decentralized :

WHEREAS, this will require a computerized system to properly and efficiently identify persons seeking basic services on social security and reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations ; (underlining ours) WHEREAS, a concerted and collaborative effort among the various basic services and social security providing agencies and other government instrumentalities is required to achieve such a system; NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby direct the following: SECTION 1. Establishment of a National Computerized Identification Reference System.- A decentralized

Identification Reference System among the key basic services and social security providers is hereby established.   SEC. 2. Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee.- An Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee (IACC) to draw-up the implementing guidelines and oversee the implementation of the System is hereby created, chaired by the Executive Secretary, with the following as members:   Head, Presidential Management Staff Secretary, National Economic Development Authority Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary, Department of Health Administrator, Government Service Insurance System Administrator, Social Security System Administrator, National Statistics Office Managing Editor, National Computer Center :

Identification Reference System among the key basic services and social security providers is hereby established. SEC. 2. Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee.- An Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee (IACC) to draw-up the implementing guidelines and oversee the implementation of the System is hereby created, chaired by the Executive Secretary, with the following as members: Head, Presidential Management Staff Secretary, National Economic Development Authority Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary, Department of Health Administrator, Government Service Insurance System Administrator, Social Security System Administrator, National Statistics Office Managing Editor, National Computer Center

SEC. 3. Secretariat.- The National Computer Center (NCC) is hereby designated as secretariat to the IACC and as such shall provide administrative and technical support to the IACC.   SEC. 4. Linkage Among Agencies.- The Population Reference Number (PRN) generated by the NSO shall serve as the common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies. The IACC Secretariat shall coordinate with the different Social Security and Services Agencies to establish the standards in the use of Biometrics Technology and in computer application designs of their respective systems. (underlining ours)   SEC. 5. Conduct of Information Dissemination Campaign.- The Office of the Press Secretary, in coordination with the National Statistics Office, the GSIS and SSS as lead agencies and other concerned agencies shall undertake a:

SEC. 3. Secretariat.- The National Computer Center (NCC) is hereby designated as secretariat to the IACC and as such shall provide administrative and technical support to the IACC. SEC. 4. Linkage Among Agencies.- The Population Reference Number (PRN) generated by the NSO shall serve as the common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies. The IACC Secretariat shall coordinate with the different Social Security and Services Agencies to establish the standards in the use of Biometrics Technology and in computer application designs of their respective systems. (underlining ours) SEC. 5. Conduct of Information Dissemination Campaign.- The Office of the Press Secretary, in coordination with the National Statistics Office, the GSIS and SSS as lead agencies and other concerned agencies shall undertake a

massive tri-media information dissemination campaign to educate and raise public awareness on the importance and use of the PRN and the Social Security Identification Reference. SEC. 6. Funding.- The funds necessary for the implementation of the system shall be sourced from the respective budgets of the concerned agencies.   SEC. 7. Submission of Regular Reports.- The NSO, GSIS and SSS shall submit regular reports to the Office of the President, through the IACC, on the status of implementation of this undertaking.   SEC. 8. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately.   DONE in the City of Manila, this 12th day of December in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six. (SGD) FIDEL V. RAMOS” :

massive tri-media information dissemination campaign to educate and raise public awareness on the importance and use of the PRN and the Social Security Identification Reference. SEC. 6. Funding.- The funds necessary for the implementation of the system shall be sourced from the respective budgets of the concerned agencies. SEC. 7. Submission of Regular Reports.- The NSO, GSIS and SSS shall submit regular reports to the Office of the President, through the IACC, on the status of implementation of this undertaking. SEC. 8. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately. DONE in the City of Manila, this 12 th day of December in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six. (SGD) FIDEL V. RAMOS”

ISSUE:   The said AO 308 was challenged by the late Senator Ople on two (2) grounds: (1) the AO is a usurpation of the power of Congress; and (2) the AO intruded into the citizen’s protected zone of privacy.   RULING:    In resolving Mr. Ople’s first issue, the SC ruled that AO 308 dealt with a subject that should have been made through a law. Providing an ID System would require legislation and not a mere executive fiat.     In resolving the second issue: “right to privacy”, the court declared it unconstitutional for being an intrusion into the right to privacy.   :

ISSUE: The said AO 308 was challenged by the late Senator Ople on two (2) grounds: (1) the AO is a usurpation of the power of Congress; and (2) the AO intruded into the citizen’s protected zone of privacy. RULING:  In resolving Mr. Ople’s first issue, the SC ruled that AO 308 dealt with a subject that should have been made through a law. Providing an ID System would require legislation and not a mere executive fiat.  In resolving the second issue: “right to privacy”, the court declared it unconstitutional for being an intrusion into the right to privacy.

The Supreme Court’s observation:   The SC made the following observations that warranted the declaration of unconstitutionality of the said AO, to wit: 1.      AO 308 failed to present enough justification on the state’s compelling interests on its issuance; and   2.      AO 308 was not narrowly drawn, meaning, it was  a)     Broad; b)     Vague; and c)     Over Breadth   which, if not stricken down, will “put the people’s right to privacy in clear and present danger”. :

The Supreme Court’s observation: The SC made the following observations that warranted the declaration of unconstitutionality of the said AO, to wit: 1.      AO 308 failed to present enough justification on the state’s compelling interests on its issuance; and 2.      AO 308 was not narrowly drawn, meaning, it was a)     Broad; b)     Vague; and c)     Over Breadth which, if not stricken down, will “put the people’s right to privacy in clear and present danger”.

  Anent the first observation of the court, AO 308 was found to have been issued for purposes other than mere identification, as the same was admitted by no less than the Solicitor General to be used for the “generation of population data for development planning”, which the court found to have a remote relation to the avowed purposes of AO 308.  Anent the second observation, the SC scrutinized the minute details of the AO, particularly Section 4 thereof regarding the use of biometrics technology and computer application designs.           The court observed that A.O. No. 308 does not state what specific biological characteristics and what particular biometrics technology shall be used to identify people. The SC also feared the clear implication that the implementation of the AO had a banquet of options, which threatens the people’s right to privacy.   :

 Anent the first observation of the court, AO 308 was found to have been issued for purposes other than mere identification, as the same was admitted by no less than the Solicitor General to be used for the “generation of population data for development planning”, which the court found to have a remote relation to the avowed purposes of AO 308.  Anent the second observation, the SC scrutinized the minute details of the AO, particularly Section 4 thereof regarding the use of biometrics technology and computer application designs.  The court observed that A.O. No. 308 does not state what specific biological characteristics and what particular biometrics technology shall be used to identify people. The SC also feared the clear implication that the implementation of the AO had a banquet of options, which threatens the people’s right to privacy.

  The SC pointed out the lack of vital safeguards and safety mechanisms for the protection of the data collected, from unscrupulous intruders, considering the fast paced improvement of computer applications.     The court noted the lack of vital safeguards to preclude misuse or abuse of information gathered that would infringe into the person’s right to privacy.   I.B THE DILG’s ANALYTICAL OBSERVATION OF THE SC RULING:    The Supreme Court did not outright condemn the adoption of a National ID System.     The SC did not per se oppose the idea of a National ID, but the SC merely strongly objected to the lackluster provisions of the AO for fear of misuse, or worse, abuse. :

 The SC pointed out the lack of vital safeguards and safety mechanisms for the protection of the data collected, from unscrupulous intruders, considering the fast paced improvement of computer applications.  The court noted the lack of vital safeguards to preclude misuse or abuse of information gathered that would infringe into the person’s right to privacy. I.B THE DILG’s ANALYTICAL OBSERVATION OF THE SC RULING:  The Supreme Court did not outright condemn the adoption of a National ID System.  The SC did not per se oppose the idea of a National ID, but the SC merely strongly objected to the lackluster provisions of the AO for fear of misuse, or worse, abuse.

         The SC even noted that in the case of Morfe vs. Mutuc, 22 SCRA 424, 445, the SC upheld the constitutionality of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) as a valid police power measure. The court declared that in compelling a public officer to make an annual report disclosing his assets and liabilities, his sources of income and expenses, did not infringe on the individual’s right to privacy. The law was enacted to promote morality in public administration by curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. The court further ruled that RA 3019 itself is sufficiently detailed. The law is clear on what practices were prohibited and penalized, and it was narrowly drawn to avoid abuses. :

 The SC even noted that in the case of Morfe vs. Mutuc , 22 SCRA 424, 445, the SC upheld the constitutionality of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) as a valid police power measure. The court declared that in compelling a public officer to make an annual report disclosing his assets and liabilities, his sources of income and expenses, did not infringe on the individual’s right to privacy. The law was enacted to promote morality in public administration by curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. The court further ruled that RA 3019 itself is sufficiently detailed. The law is clear on what practices were prohibited and penalized, and it was narrowly drawn to avoid abuses.

  The Supreme Court further ruled that: “in no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. It merely requires that the law be narrowly focused and a compelling interest to justify such intrusions. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards and well-defined standards to prevent unconstitutional invasions.”   II. THE ID SYSTEM: NATIONAL CONCEPT    Having been clarified of the ruling and principles enunciated by the SC in the above-mentioned case, the National ID System program of the National Government can still be pursued provided that: :

 The Supreme Court further ruled that: “in no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. It merely requires that the law be narrowly focused and a compelling interest to justify such intrusions. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards and well-defined standards to prevent unconstitutional invasions.” II. THE ID SYSTEM: NATIONAL CONCEPT  Having been clarified of the ruling and principles enunciated by the SC in the above-mentioned case, the National ID System program of the National Government can still be pursued provided that:

  1.     The National ID System shall be done through an act of Congress by enacting a law for that purpose.   2.      The law must consider two things: (a) that it must show compelling interest of the State in enacting the law; and (b) the law must also narrow down the details of implementation and to provide safeguards against abuse or misuse of information gathered.   III. THE ID SYSTEM: LOCAL CONCEPT    Every Local Government Unit (LGU) is conferred by Section 16 (General Welfare Clause) of the Local Government Code the power to exercise “Police Power”.    The enactment of an ordinance can be premised on the exercise of the LGU of its “Police Power”.   :

1.     The National ID System shall be done through an act of Congress by enacting a law for that purpose. 2.      The law must consider two things: (a) that it must show compelling interest of the State in enacting the law; and (b) the law must also narrow down the details of implementation and to provide safeguards against abuse or misuse of information gathered. III. THE ID SYSTEM: LOCAL CONCEPT  Every Local Government Unit (LGU) is conferred by Section 16 (General Welfare Clause) of the Local Government Code the power to exercise “Police Power”.  The enactment of an ordinance can be premised on the exercise of the LGU of its “Police Power”.

    Section 16, Local Government Code, provides:   “SEC. 16. General Welfare.- Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.” :

 Section 16, Local Government Code, provides: “SEC. 16. General Welfare.- Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom , as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.”

          “Police Power” means the exercise of legislative power through the enactment of regulatory measures in restraint of the right to property or liberty of individuals to protect or promote vital social interests, such as public safety, national security, public health, public morals, public order, public interest, and general welfare. In short, it is the power of the LGU to regulate the use of property and the enjoyment of life and liberty for the common good.     Accordingly, pending enactment by Congress of a law providing for the National ID System, LGUs can already provide ordinances invoking its “Police Power”, which are local laws, providing for their local ID system.       LGUs only need to be guided by the principles enunciated in the Ople case and the following requisites to maintain the validity of their ordinances, to wit:   :

 “Police Power” means the exercise of legislative power through the enactment of regulatory measures in restraint of the right to property or liberty of individuals to protect or promote vital social interests, such as public safety, national security, public health, public morals, public order, public interest, and general welfare. In short, it is the power of the LGU to regulate the use of property and the enjoyment of life and liberty for the common good.  Accordingly, pending enactment by Congress of a law providing for the National ID System, LGUs can already provide ordinances invoking its “Police Power”, which are local laws, providing for their local ID system.  LGUs only need to be guided by the principles enunciated in the Ople case and the following requisites to maintain the validity of their ordinances, to wit:

  a) Must not contravene the Constitution and any statute; b) Must not be unfair and oppressive; c) Must not be partial or discriminatory; d) Must not prohibit, but may regulate trade; e) Must not be unreasonable; and f) Must be general in application and consistent with public policy. (as held in the case of Magtajas vs. Pryce Properties, G.R. No. 111097, 20 July 1994)    On top of the above requisites, the LGUs must be able to present compelling interests in adopting the Local ID system and must also be able to narrow down the details of implementation and provide safeguards against misuse and abuse. :

a) Must not contravene the Constitution and any statute; b) Must not be unfair and oppressive; c) Must not be partial or discriminatory; d) Must not prohibit, but may regulate trade; e) Must not be unreasonable; and f) Must be general in application and consistent with public policy. (as held in the case of Magtajas vs. Pryce Properties, G.R. No. 111097, 20 July 1994)  On top of the above requisites, the LGUs must be able to present compelling interests in adopting the Local ID system and must also be able to narrow down the details of implementation and provide safeguards against misuse and abuse.

  IV. ID SYSTEM AT THE BARANGAY LEVEL:      Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code provides:   “SEC. 394. Barangay Secretary.- (d) The Barangay Secretary shall: xxx (6) Keep an updated record of all inhabitants of the barangay containing the following items of information: name, address, place and date of birth, sex, civil status, citizenship, occupation, and such other items of information as may be prescribed by law or ordinances.”        In operationalizing this particular provision, the barangay government may issue IDs to its inhabitants containing the informations enumerated by Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code and such other information as may be prescribed by law or ordinance. :

IV. ID SYSTEM AT THE BARANGAY LEVEL:  Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code provides: “SEC. 394. Barangay Secretary.- (d) The Barangay Secretary shall: xxx (6) Keep an updated record of all inhabitants of the barangay containing the following items of information: name, address, place and date of birth, sex, civil status, citizenship, occupation, and such other items of information as may be prescribed by law or ordinances.”  In operationalizing this particular provision, the barangay government may issue IDs to its inhabitants containing the informations enumerated by Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code and such other information as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

In the implementation of the ID System at the barangay level, note that the Punong Barangays may issue Executive Orders in furtherance of Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code. However, should there be additional information/data on top of those enumerated under Section 394 (d) (6) of the same Code to be required reflected on the said Barangay ID, then proper barangay legislation should first be enacted. With respect to the funding, the city or municipal government, depending on availability of funds, may appropriate funding support for the project in aid to barangays. This Barangay ID System is envisioned to be integrated in one repository agency and to be coordinated with other agencies of the government. :

In the implementation of the ID System at the barangay level, note that the Punong Barangays may issue Executive Orders in furtherance of Section 394 (d) (6) of the Local Government Code. However, should there be additional information/data on top of those enumerated under Section 394 (d) (6) of the same Code to be required reflected on the said Barangay ID, then proper barangay legislation should first be enacted. W ith respect to the funding, the city or municipal government, depending on availability of funds, may appropriate funding support for the project in aid to barangays. This Barangay ID System is envisioned to be integrated in one repository agency and to be coordinated with other agencies of the government .

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