March 7, 2013 -
A graft complaint has been filed against Philippine Immigration chief Ricardo David in relation to the Bureau of Immigration’s US $1.25 million (P50 million) contract for a biometric system to process the details of international travellers coming and going from the country.
Reported in the Inquirer News, the complainant, named Leon Peralta, said “the biometric project will end up wasting precious government funds considering its fractional cost equivalent only to a Daily Time Record type of Biometrics as against the required scale, magnitude and sophisticated Border Control and Management system that the Immigration needs.”
Following the news of this complaint, the Bureau defended its plan and in a statement suggested that the project is “not a waste of government funds because it benefits the country outweighing financial cost.”
According to a separate Inquirer News report, David responded to say that the system will speed up the processing of travellers, ensure the integrity of the immigration system and safeguard privacy.
David is the former Chief of staff for the Philippine Armed Forces, and was in that position from 2010 to 2011.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Philippines has launched a biometric system in the Municipality of Upi to ensure that the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer program is implemented successfully.
Likewise, the country has an election scheduled for May of this year and has recently announced that the number of voters to have registered in the country’s biometric registry has reached over 50 million. According to a Commission on Elections spokesperson, this is the highest number ever recorded to participate in Philippine elections.