Govt should terminate contract with national ID supplier

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The Manila Times


Part of the CoA’s observations on non-financial issues declared, among others, that “the quantity of produced and delivered Philippine Identification (PhilID) cards did not meet the requirement provided in the terms of reference; thus, causing delay to the Philippine Identification System project of the government, intended to streamline the transactions in both the public and private sectors.” As of end of December 2021, the total actual deliveries of prepersonalized cards by the contractor AllCard was 27,356,750 pieces, or 76 percent of the 36 million annual requirement — short by 8,643,250 pieces, or 24 percent of the required deliveries for the year 2021. The target for the second year (2022), including the first year’s backlog, is 48,753,500. I am sure this will never be attained due to the low capacity output of the printing machines supplied by AllCard, which is a clear violation of the binding TOR. The BSP, on the other hand, defended itself and claimed that the delay in card production was due to a lack of PSA personnel to operate machines and/or conduct inspections, and a limited supply of machine spare parts and consumables. It also claimed that the operations in Lot 2 card personalization are primarily being managed and manned by PSA, while the BSP and the contractor only render operational support. This is despicable. The TOR mandates that AllCard should be the party responsible for the operations of these printing machines. Why is the PSA doing AllCard’s work in the first place? Sen. Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said in a statement on June 23, 2022, “The long wait of six months to over a year to get the ID is unjustifiable.” In a virtual meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on July 13, 2022, the PSA claimed that they had already released to the public a total of 14.3 million PhilID cards as of early June 2022. A mere 14.3 million out of the target 36.4 million is utterly unacceptable. If this had happened in a private corporation, the contractor would have been surely fired and penalized. Due to lack of space, I cannot provide the readers with complete mathematical computations as to why AllCard cannot meet its targets per the TOR, but I promise to do so next week. I will also share with the readers the sentiments of netizens over these inferior and substandard PhilID cards. Terminate contract now With everything that has happened (and is bound to happen in the future), the new administration should act swiftly and immediately terminate all existing contracts (primary, supplementary and amended) between the BSP and AllCard. The government would incur additional losses, particularly an enormous loss of public goodwill, each day that the agreement is allowed to continue. The backlog of card production will never be alleviated, and it will become increasingly worse with time. In the end, the government will be left with nothing but erasable national ID cards in the hands of its citizenry, as well as fraud-prone digital versions of the same IDs. I warned of the failure of this project as early as November 2020, but the government never listened. With more than two years going into full card production, AllCard has clearly shown that it cannot fulfill its end of the contract. The Senate should investigate this fiasco before it is too late. President Marcos should order his men to put an end to this anomalous contract. In the words of Bruce Golding, “The government has gone deaf. They are not listening to the people, and this is a time for them to start listening.” Visit our page at