Filipinos worry over circulating video of national IDs in trash

August 18, 2023 - 1:57 PM
A photo of an individual registering for her national ID (PSAPhilSysOfficial/Facebook)

A video of thrown-out national identification cards in a garbage disposal area has been circulating on social media for the past few weeks.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) confirmed that the footage was captured in the garbage disposal area of Barangay Tiling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental.

In the video, a group of individuals found the national IDs of several individuals amid piles of garbage at the site.

The ID cards were shown to be still intact. The names and photos of the owners, the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) logo and other personal data were clearly visible and legible.

At least four personal documents of several individuals were shown on the video.

Concerned Filipinos tagged the PSA and called for an explanation as to why these government-issued cards were found in a garbage disposal site.

This footage soon reached the PSA.

In response to the inquiries, the agency said that it is still investigating the incident in cooperation with barangay officials.

“The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is currently investigating the incident of PhilIDs found in a garbage disposal area in Barangay Tiling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental in collaboration with barangay officials,” it said.

The state statisticians will also be coordinating with the Philippine Postal Corporation, which is the main government office tasked to deliver the PhilSys cards, in the investigation.

“Following the release of official incident reports, both agencies commit to addressing any gaps found in the system of delivery to ensure that the incident will not occur again,” PSA said.

The PSA, the implementing agency of the PhilSys, said this is an “isolated” case. It assured the public that it adheres to the strict protocols on the distribution of the important IDs.

“The agency assures the public that this is an isolated case. The privacy and security of the data of PhilSys-registered persons are of the highest priority, and strict protocols in the distribution of PhilIDs and ePhilIDs have been in place since the beginning of its distribution,” it said.

“The PSA remains strongly committed to its mandate of ensuring the security of registered persons’ data from the first step of registration up to the distribution of PhilIDs and ePhilIDs,” the agency added.

Several Filipinos, meanwhile, expressed their worries that their IDs might have also ended up in the same situation.

“Imagine your ID not delivered to you and is in the trash. Wow ka talaga, my country,” a Filipino posted.

“So, this is probably where my National ID went,” another PhilSys registrant commented.

Other Filipinos also raised their concerns about data privacy, particularly the personal data of the owners of the ID cards shown in the circulating video.

“You are exposing Filipinos’ private information in broad daylight I hope u know that @PSAgovph,” an X user posted.

“What if gamitin ng mga scammers yang ID?” a concerned Pinoy asked.

“Those are personal data thrown away just like that,” another Filipino commented.

The delivery period of national IDs has been the subject of headlines and conversations since PhilSys was established.

RELATED: Rowena Guanzon joins Filipinos calling for fast-tracked national ID cards 

Last May, several Filipinos were worried that their physical IDs were caught in flames after the Manila Post Office was gutted by fire.

READ: Manila Post Office building fire sparks worries over parcels, national IDs 

As of April 23, the PSA has issued over 60 million national IDs and ePhilIDs across the Philippines.