Lacson and Sotto should look into fraud-prone PhilID cards


A TWO-PART presentation on the alleged anomalies surrounding the Philippine Identification Card (PhilID) auction by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Security Factory Complex (BSP-SPC) was the subject of this column on 14 November 2020.

The BSP-SPC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) began the possibly rigged bidding process for the production of some 116 million pieces of PhilID cards in July 2020 following adoption on August 6. 2018 of Republic Law 11055., effectively establishing the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). The law aims to provide all Filipino citizens and resident foreigners with a national ID as valid proof of identity, in the form of the PhilID card.

In April 2020, Senate Speaker Vicente Sotto 3rd and Senator Panfilo Lacson tabled Senate Resolution 352, calling for an investigation into the status of the implementation of the PhilSys Act, “with the aim of ensuring its implementation. work quickly and on a large scale to achieve its intended goal. “

I think it’s time for the magnificent Lacson and Sotto duo to file a new resolution and actually investigate the current state of PhilID card production in order to show the public the flaws and cheating characteristics of these seemingly inferior cards. .

Registry complaints filed against BSP-SPC

Exactly one year ago, the Stop Corruption Organization Philippines Inc. (Scopi) filed corruption charges against senior BSP-SPC officials and members of its BAC over perceived anomalies in the purchase of 116 million cards. PhilID. The Office of the Ombudsman has not acted on this complaint at this time.

BSP-SPC officials and relevant BAC members were accused of violating Articles 10 and 18 of Republic Law 9184 (Public Procurement Reform Law) and Articles 3 (e.) And 3 (g.) of the law of the Republic 3019 (the Anti-Law on grafting and corruption practices).

The complaint alleged that “the respondents effectively circumvented the law to award the supply of Dovid material to OVD Kinegram AG (Kinegram’s supplier), under the pretext of publicly bidding on the lease for the printing material”. Dovid stands for Diffractive Optically Variable Image Device. The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the tender required the successful bidder to source its raw materials from the Swedish company OVD Kinegram AG only and from no one else, in flagrant violation of the Law on Reform of public procurement (GPRA). “The respondents favored OVD Kinegram AG and awarded it the purchase of goods, that of Dovid equipment, without the benefit of a public tender. personalization equipment (Lot 2). Simply put, OVD Kinegram AG has won a multi-million dollar contract to supply Dovid equipment without going through the required public tender.

After my first talk, I was informed by reliable insiders of the BSP-SPC that the successful bidder only had two units of card printing machines. These card personalization machines are each rated at just 3,000 cards per hour. Assuming both machines could run at maximum speed, they could only process 6,000 cards per hour, which is well below the output customization requirements of the BSP Tech Specs for Lot # 2, which require that ” pre-personalized cards are processed at a minimum machine rate of 9,000 cards per hour. “

The specifications also require that the “print resolution is at least 600 x 600 dpi”. (DPI stands for dots per inch, which technically means the number of dots printed per linear inch. The more dots, the higher the print quality. Higher DPI means higher resolution.) However, it is said that the winning bidder is only able to print up to 400 dpi.

Vulnerable PhilID Cards

I was provided with copies of genuine PhilID cards which were released to the public as early as December 2021, but I have delayed writing on this in deference for the Christmas season.

The real PhilID card is a polycarbonate card, just like the Land Transportation Office (LTO) driver’s license card. In the LTO card, you can feel the characters printed in the “expiration date” field, which means it has been “laser engraved”.

PhilID’s general card design specifications for custom cards require that “[a] the color photo must be digitally printed on the front of the card. The base image (grayscale) of the photo must be laser engraved xxx with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi x 600 dpi. color and grayscale photos can be easily deleted.

The lack of laser engraving violates several provisions of the specifications for lot 2 of the project, among which “personal data must be laser engraved”. My informant told me that card solutions provider PhilID skipped laser engraving to meet the daily output requirement of at least 126,000 cards per day. Laser engraving delays the printing process and their card printers are not able to print at the speeds required.

Remember, the National Identity Card serves as the unified, centralized form of government identification for Filipino citizens and resident aliens. It is considered valid proof of identity, and in fact, the BSP has reminded banks and the public that the country’s national ID is sufficient proof of identity to open a bank account.

So, with an erasable photo, fraudsters can print a new face on the PhilID card and present it to a bank to open an account. There you have it, the identity of the legitimate holder of the PhilID card is now compromised by an altered photo, and this same bank account can now be used for fraudulent purposes. This is just one example of the many crimes that can be committed with a forged PhilID card.

Indeed, Senators Sotto and Lacson should investigate the production of the PhilID cards and take the initiative to ensure that the PhilID card can truly “achieve the intended purpose”.

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