Presidential Communications Operations Office
Presidential News Desk

[Delivered at Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace | 06 August 2018] Kindly sit down.

Thank you for your courtesy.

Today, I am proud to present to the Filipino people two monumental legislative measures that will not just impact peace and order and national security, but [will] also chart a future where every Filipino—regardless of ethnicity, culture, or religious affiliation—can enjoy the freedom that this nation proudly stands [for].

Ten days ago, I signed into law the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao, which I hope will finally end the decades-old conflict that is rooted in the Bangsamoro’s fight for self-determination and the recognition of their unique identity.

Today, I also signed the Philippine Identification System Act, a measure that will establish a single national identification system that will promote good governance, enhance governmental transactions, and create a more conducive environment for trade and commerce to thrive.

I thank former Senate President Pimentel and former Speaker Alvarez, as well as Senate President Sotto and Speaker Arroyo for supporting my administration’s legislative agenda. [applause] Indeed, the passage of these laws speak well of their able leadership and firm resolve to rise above divisive partisan politics.

Let me also express my gratitude to the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front for their unwavering commitment, determination, and perseverance in pursuing the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. May this serve as the final trajectory for the attainment of genuine peace, stability, [and] good governance in Muslim Mindanao.

I ask my Bangsamoro brothers and sisters, as well as the indigenous communities and Christian settlers living within the Bangsamoro areas, to actively participate in constructive discussions about the law in your homes, in your villages, and communities. But more importantly, I encourage you to take part in the upcoming plebiscite so that you may express your sovereign will through the ballot.

Let us work together as we continue the healing and reconciliation process. Let us give this law a chance to address the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for genuine autonomy, while preserving our bond as a single nation and affirming the sovereignty of the indivisible Republic of the Philippines.

I also ask everyone to support the Philippine Identification System Act, which seeks to promote the efficient delivery of services to our people through a single ID that will be issued to all citizens and resident aliens. This ID, which we will call the “Phil-ID,” will dispense with the need to present multiple IDs for different [government] transactions.

This will not just enhance administrative governance but reduce corruption, curtail bureaucratic red tape, and promote the ease of doing business, but also avert fraudulent transactions, strengthen financial inclusion, and create a more secure environment for our people.

Several administrations before me have tried but failed to implement this very important measure, partly because of the apprehensions peddled by some groups about privacy and data security, among others.

Let me be very clear about this: The information that will be included in the Phil-ID will not be any different from the information already in the possession of the Philippine Statistics Authority or the former NSO, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, COMELEC, and other agencies that gather personal data.

Moreover, the Philippine Statistics Authority will work closely with the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the multi-agency PhilSystem Policy and Coordination Council to address all concerns pertaining to privacy and security.

There is therefore no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal. If at all, the Phil-ID will even aid in our drive against the social menaces of poverty, corruption and criminal issues, as well as terrorism and violent extremism.

In closing, I ask everyone to join me as we decisively implement measures that will create an environment where our people’s concern will no longer be center on their safety and security, but on charting a future they can proudly bequeath to succeeding generations.

Together, let us shatter the dark clouds that once loomed over our nation for generations, and welcome the dawn of a brighter future not only for the Bangsamoro people, but for all peace- loving Filipinos.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay ang nagkakaisang Pilipinas! [applause]

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