A SENATOR has filed a bill seeking to establish an online death verification system to halt the fraudulent use of a deceased individual’s identity.
“On many occasions, it has been proven in the many investigations conducted by the Senate that the names of the deceased are being used in fraudulent payment claims, election fraud and various types of fraud,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada said in Filipino in a statement on Wednesday. “It is time to solve this matter.”
Under the proposed Online Death Verification System Act, a centralized electronic database will be set up using information from local civil registry offices.
The system will be managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Mr. Estrada said criminals and syndicates often exploit the lack of immediate access to death data in carrying out fraudulent activities and corrupt practices.
He cited an incident in 2019 where multibillion-peso bogus claims were paid by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to dialysis centers.
“Those funds that were intended for the poor and in actual need of medical assistance ended up in the hands of owners of private dialysis centers,” he said.
The senator said the system can also be used to remove those who are deceased from the official list of registered voters.
The bill also provides penalties of up to P4 million and imprisonment for violations. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan