Govt should terminate contract with national ID supplier




The Manila Times

Opinion The M˜ Anila Times

IN one of his press conferences, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in response to a question posed by a reporter, said “that hits upon the discussion that we have about accelerating the issuance of the national ID. Because right now we are, I think, we’re at 12 million. Is that the correct number? (Seemingly asking, while looking at Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno) We’re up to 12 million, ah kulang na kulang pa iyon, and all of these things . . . we are going to digitize the bureaucracy. It all really depends on everyone having their own national ID.” Apparently, the President is still unaware of the sad state the production of the national ID is in. How can everyone have a national ID when the supplier of these national ID cards failed to meet the schedule of their deliverables to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the first place? What happened before To inform readers about who and what the culprits behind these much delayed (and inferior) national ID cards are, let me reprint what I wrote way back on Nov. 14, 2020 in my article entitled, “BSP-SPC apparently corrupted PhilID bidding process.” “On Aug. 6, 2018, Republic Act 11055 was signed into law, effectively establishing the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). The law aims to provide all Filipino citizens and resident aliens with a valid proof of identity — the Philippine Identification or PhilID card. The PSA was designated to “be the primary implementing agency to carry out the provisions” of the said law. It was tasked to maintain the national registry for the PhilID and to issue the cards to all qualified cardholders. To ensure the effective implementation and coordination of the Philippine national identification system, the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council (PSPCC) was organized to formulate the corresponding policies and guidelines. One of the members of the PSPCC is the deputy governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). For reasons unknown to the public, the BSP-SPC bids and awards committee (BAC) undertook the bidding process for the production of some 116 million pieces of PhilID. Why was it taken from the PSA?” The original bidding date for the project was set by the BSP-SPC BAC for July 1, 2020. However, the BAC declared a failure of bidding when their allegedly “favored” bidder did not qualify. Thus, the bidding was rescheduled for Sept. 14, 2020. The BSP-SPC BAC issued another invitation to bid (ITB) together with new terms of reference (TOR). “The ITB was for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of two lots — Lot No. 1, Lease of Card Production Equipment for a period of three years; and Lot No. 2, Lease of Card Personalization Equipment for a period of four years. Both lots include the provision of technical and maintenance support personnel, training of BSP/PSA personnel, supply and delivery of raw materials, consumables and wear-and-tear spare parts for 116 million pieces of PhilID cards.” Long story short, the project was awarded to their “favored” bidder — AllCard Inc. — even though it is not financially and technically qualified to handle a project of such gargantuan proportions. The notice of award was signed by then-BSP Governor Diokno on Sept. 29, 2020. The notice to proceed (NTP) was issued to AllCard by BSP Director Rogel Joseph V. del Rosario on Oct. 1, 2020. The agreement between BSP and AllCard was approved and signed by Diokno on the same date that the NTP was issued. What is happening now On June 29, 2022, the Commission on Audit (CoA) transmitted to Diokno its “report on the results of audit of the accounts and transactions of the BSP for the years ended Dec. 31, 2021 and 2020.”