THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) said it is within President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s authority to reorganize the executive department to fast-track the roll-out of the digital national identification cards (national IDs).
The reorganization would involve the transfer of some functions of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to the Department of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“Jurisprudence has likewise recognized this continuing power of the President to reorganize the offices and agencies in the executive department in line with the President’s constitutionally granted power of control over executive offices,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said in a five-page legal opinion dated May 16 addressed to Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin.
Citing Supreme Court jurisprudence, he said the president has the power to “effect less radical or less substantive changes” to the structure of his office.
In April, Mr. Marcos said during a Cabinet meeting that he wants to fast-track the roll-out of digital national IDs, ordering the DICT and the PSA to accelerate the distribution.
Earlier this month, Senator Minority Leader Aquilino Martin “KoKo” D. Pimentel III sought to probe the delayed distribution.
Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys) passed in 2018 provides for a single digital ID system for all citizens to ease transactions, access to social services, and boost financial inclusion.
“Taking into consideration the foregoing and bearing in mind the objective of the PhilSys Act, which will ultimately result in the promotion of the general welfare and accessibility of public service, the President may, thus, exercise his power of control over the executive branch and reorganize it as he deems proper,” Mr. Remulla said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez