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Valenzuela News

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian

Valenzuela mayor supports ID system 

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Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian is pushing for an identification card (ID) system for every citizen so the government could swiftly take action during crisis, including “in a pandemic like this.”

“Being able to track down who needs help the most is probably the number one thing on an agenda in a pandemic like this,” Gatchalian said in a recent virtual sharing session with several local chief executives, the video of which was posted on PUBLiCUS Asia’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon.

“Whether it’s a national ID system or a local ID system, we have to have some type of ID system,” he added.

For Gatchalian, the importance of an ID system is for the government — both local and national — to easily determine who needs to be fed first and who needs to get relief first.

“I really believe that now is the time for the local government or even the national government to strengthen its digital platform,” he added.

During the first month of the lockdown, Gatchalian told the Manila Bulletin that they relied on their community-based monitoring system as well as their social welfare department database to immediately identify residents who need relief goods.

“We also tapped the homeowner’s associations of the informal settlement communities and the barangays did on the ground census,” added Gatchalian, who is one of the local chief executives who received a high satisfaction rating in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in an online survey.

As much as they would want to launch their own ID system, Gatchalian said, they could not do so as they “were waiting for the national ID system to be rolled out.”

“We did not want to be redundant,” he added, “but since that is taking time, we will expand our local ID system — VC [Valenzuela City] cares.”

Meanwhile, the city mayor also expressed belief that the pandemic, which prohibits everyone to do physical contacts in order not to catch the virus, “is a wake-up call” for the government to have “a systematic effort or initiative” to go online.

“We need to go online,” he stressed, saying that transactions physically done at city hall or at the national agencies should “come to an end.”

“You have to set a deadline. You have to once and for all migrate to online platform,” he stressed.

Valenzuela is known as one of the first cities in the country to launch an online application permit system, called Paspas Permit which only takes 10 seconds of waiting time for applicants to receive their provisionary business permits.

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