Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to remind banks that Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act compels them to accept the national ID as sufficient proof of identity for financial transactions and any bank that refuses to recognize it will be fined P500,000.
Gatchalian made the call amid continuing complaints that some banks refuse to recognize the national ID as proof of identity because the card itself does not display the person’s signature.
“This is not the intention of the law. The national ID system is meant to simplify public and private transactions. The BSP should immediately look into this issue and ensure that all financial institutions, especially Landbank and Development Bank of the Philippines, adhere to the law,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian cited BSP’s Memorandum No. M-2021-057 stating that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), one of the implementers of the law, has clarified that the non-inclusion of a handwritten signature as part of the Philippine identification (PhilID) was deliberate and aligns with other national ID systems such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, among others.
It intends to promote greater security in transactions through stronger methods of verification and lower risk of forgery.
He pointed out that the same memo specifies that the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) allows both offline and online means of authenticating one’s identity in accordance with Section 5 of RA 11055 and Section 12 of its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR).
Identity authentication is made through the PhilID physical security features, QR code digital verification, biometric verification, and SMS one-time password (OTP).
Banks would normally require two or more IDs and other documentary requirements when opening a bank account. However, those with only one valid ID, usually from the low-income sector, are rejected.
“There shouldn’t be a need for another valid ID if the individual concerned only has the national ID,” Gatchalian noted, emphasizing that the national ID should be considered as an official, reliable, and sufficient proof of identity.
The lawmaker likewise encouraged the public to report to BSP banks that refuse to accept their national IDs in their bank-related transactions.