The government is pilot-testing the implementation of the national ID until May or June next year, with the formal roll-out eyed by July to an initial 14 to 15 million registrants.
In a press briefing on Monday, Oct. 7, after the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the production of blank cards under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) between the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) , PSA undersecretary and national statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said they are now touching base with marginalized sectors such as farmers and fisherfolks.
“Once the system is in place, we don’t have a problem doing a rollout starting July. By 2020, we are targeting about 14 to 15 million… By 2021, it will be escalated to about 50 million. And the rest will done by 2022,” he said.
Under Republic Act 11055, otherwise known as the Philippine Identification System Act, all Filipinos, as well as resident aliens in the country, will be issued a national ID that will have basic information to be sourced from data collected by the PSA. The cards will be given for free.
Under the MOA agreement signed between the BSP and the PSA, the central bank will produce within three years 116 million blank cards that will have security features that are said to be better than those used in passports.
BSP governor Benjamin Diokno said the government-to-government agreement is better than tapping the private sector to prevent issues that usually arise when losing bidders question the decision of the bids and account committee.
“So to avoid that problem, we will do a government-to-government (contract) at minimal cost,” he said.
Diokno said the national ID will be beneficial to all Filipinos, especially the unbanked individuals who are hindered from being enrolled in the formal banking sector due to lack of the required identification cards such as two government-issued IDs.
“With the ‘Philippine ID’, unbanked Filipinos will have a proof of identity which is a key requirement in accessing formal financial services. This will enable more of our underprivileged countrymen to enjoy gains from and participate more actively in the country’s growing economy,” he said.
The program has P30-billion budget but Diokno said the cost of production for what he dubbed as the foundational ID will be about P3.4 billion or around P30 per card. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)