One of the local security guys at a campsite where I teach asked me about the veracity of a text message he received from a relative just a week ago. It read like this:
President GMA approved the P150 Million budget for the UNIFIED MULTI (666) SSS ID SYSTEM. DZRH reported! Nagstart na…microchip or biochip i-inject in hand or forhead of men which they call Lifetime savings. In US next in Philippines. Dami nagpatatak o nagpa inplant according to TIME MAGAZINE Plz. pas to all CHRISTIAN..
I wanted to laugh but I checked myself, not wanting the security guy to think I belittled the news or his belief (or non-belief) about it. But I had visions of people with lines stamped on their foreheads, walking through barcode scanners to be identified as they enter any establishment or cross any corner of the road.
While it is true that talk of a unified ID system has been ongoing for the past years, the success of an implementation of such a system is highly unlikely in the Philippine setting. The manual system of registration of births and deaths is one of the things that will prevent the successful implementation of a country-wide ID system.
Some people believe that a system is only applicable to the working class, because it is tied up with the SSS and the GSIS. This to me implies that the government is only concerned with documenting workers. This also for me is typical of our government trying to find solutions from the top, when they should be working from the ground level.
Get birth and death registrations computerized and implemented country wide. We need this in place before any effective unified ID system can be implemented.