Government rolls out new IDs
- Iris Gonzales () - January 9, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government will implement the first wave of the controversial Unified Multipurpose Identification System (UMID) cards in March, initially for members of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

SSS president and chief executive officer Romulo Neri yesterday said that the SSS is the lead agency tasked to implement the UMID system, which officials said aims to enhance the integrity of state-issued ID cards, facilitate government transactions, cut costs and minimize redundant databases.

Neri said that along the way, members of other government agencies including the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and even the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would also be covered by the system.

“PhilHealth is not ready yet so we will start with SSS and GSIS in March,” Neri told The STAR.

The Comelec is also not ready to use the cards because it is still busy preparing for the May elections.

The target is to produce a total of 12 million cards in the next five years, which will cost P1.689 billion, Neri said.

The shift to the UMID upgrades the present SSS ID system, which has been using the same card technology since it was introduced over a decade ago. SSS and the All Cards Consortium, the controversial group that won the bid to produce the cards, signed a memorandum of agreement last month to produce the 12 million UMIDs.

The consortium, led by its main proponent the All Cards Plastics Philippines, is joined by controversial firm Stradcom Corp. and Teco Electric and Machinery Co.

Neri said that once the UMID is out in March, SSS would no longer use the existing identification cards for its members.

Neri said each card will cost P140 but the agencies would shoulder the cost and would not pass this on to members.

“We will not charge members because it’s part of our service,” Neri said.

SSS has over 27 million members while GSIS has 1.5 million. PhilHealth covers SSS and GSIS members while the Comelec has 48.3 million registered voters.

ALL CARDS CONSORTIUM ALL CARDS PLASTICS PHILIPPINES CARDS COMELEC GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND MEMBERS NERI PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORP ROMULO NERI SSS
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