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Philippines to issue unified IDs from March.

Byline: Gilbert P. Felongco

Manila The Philippine government is set to implement by March a unified identification system, a scheme which had been opposed by civil liberties groups in the past.

Romulo Neri, administrator of the state-run private sector pension fund, the Social Security System (SSS) said the government will start printing the unified ID cards by March.

The ID card is called "unified" because the bearer will able to access his or her records with several government-run institutions by using a single electronically readable card.

Neri said the unified ID system will be implemented with the signing in the first quarter of the memorandum of agreement among the SSS, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth), and Home Development Mutual Fund (PagIbig).

The GSIS is the state insurance and pension fund for government workers while Philhealth provides a portion of health maintenance coverage for public and private sector employees.

The PagIbig is the state managed home financing and development facility.

"By March, we will be printing two million IDs," said Neri. "We expect to print 12 million IDs in five years."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jan 9, 2010
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