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Gov’t eyes pilot run for national ID system in December

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By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter

AUTHORITIES will start a pilot run to register residents under the Philippine ID System (PhilSys) in December, as they look to start with households receiving cash transfers from government.

National Statistician Lisa Grace S. Bersales said they will conduct pilot testing for the national ID system by yearend as they target to sign up one million households and provide them with PhilSys number (PSN) and PhilSys card (PhilID).

Republic Act No. 11055 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte takes effect on Saturday, Aug. 25. The law creates a central identification platform for all citizens and resident foreigners in the Philippines, which will effectively do away with the need to claim and present various government-issued IDs for personal and financial transactions.

Ms. Bersales added the initial PhilSys registration will be conducted for specific residents of Metro Manila, the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Quezon, and Cordillera Administrative Regions. The state will prioritize households receiving conditional cash transfers under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

These regions are also where the offices of the Philippine Postal Corp. are “most accessible,” as these will be used as registration sites.

“We recognize that there are some citizens who really need the PhilID first. My personal opinion is that those who don’t have any government ID… We expect these are usually our poor people,” Ms. Bersales said in a media briefing held at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) main office in Pasig City.

Others to be prioritized are senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

GUIDELINES
Ahead of the pilot run, the newly-formed PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council has started work to craft policies and guidelines earlier this month.

The inter-agency body is also tasked to come up with the implementing rules and regulations for the law, which is expected to be published between end-September to early October.

The government is targeting to get 25 million Filipinos on board every year until 2021.

Ms. Bersales added that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is also looking to procure the PhilSys platform between October-November. She said the project has secured an initial budget of P2 billion this year, which forms part of an indicative P30-billion budget for the next five years.

The amount will cover the acquisition of the data collection and storage system as well as the provision of the ID cards, free of charge.

Conglomerates Ayala Corp. (AC) through AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. through Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. have teamed up with information technology company Unisys Philippines to submit a 17-year unsolicited proposal to the PSA, as they seek to design and development the infrastructure for the national ID system.

Once registered, residents will get a 12-digit PSN which should serve as their digital identity across multiple platforms.

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said the PhilID will eventually replace all other government-issued cards except the passport, driver’s license and Professional Regulation Commission ID.

The PhilSys will collect the full name, sex, date and place of birth, blood type, and address. It will also indicate if a person is a Filipino or resident alien, as well as capture one’s front-facing photo, full set of fingerprints and an iris scan.

Meanwhile, the disclosure of one’s marital status, mobile number and email address is optional.