PSA sets pilot testing of nat’l ID until May or June ’20

MANILA — Authorities are pilot-testing until May or June 2020 the implementation of the national ID, to be rolled out hopefully by July next year with an initial 14 to 15 million people.

In a briefing 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) on Monday, PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said they are touching base with vulnerable sectors like farmers.

“Once the system is in place, meaning it’s efficient, (and) we don’t have a problem we will do a rollout starting July. By 2020, we are targeting about 14 to 15 million…By 2021, it’s now easy to provide escalation to about 50 million. And the rest will come 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, which authorities said are better than those used in making 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 Filipinos who are hindered from being enrolled in the formal banking sector due to lack of the required identification cards which are two government-issued ID.

“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 central bank chief pointed out that the BSP-PSA partnership for this ID system is a “trailblazing field for both institutions.”

The program has about PHP30 billion total cost but Diokno said the cost of production for what he dubbed as the foundational ID, will be about PHP3.4 billion or around PHP30 per card. Joann Villanueva/PNA- northboundasia.com