Gov & t eyes pilot run for national ID system in December

By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter

AUTHORITIES start a pilot run in December to register residents under the Philippine ID system (PhilSys), because they want to start with households that receive money transfers from the government.

The national statistician Lisa Grace S. Bersales said that by the end of the year they will carry out a pilot test for the national ID system, as they focus on signing a million households and provide them with PhilSys number (PSN) and PhilSys card (PhilID).

US law No. 11055, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, comes into effect on Saturday, August 25th. The law creates a central identification platform for all citizens and residents of foreigners in the Philippines, effectively abolishing the need to claim and present. various government-issued IDs for personal and financial transactions.

Mrs. Bersales added that the initial PhilSys registration will be performed for specific residents of Metro Manila, the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Quezon and the administrative region of Cordillera. The state gives priority to households that receive conditional money transfers from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Development.

In this region, the offices of the Philippine Postal Corp. are also located. "most accessible" because they are used as registration sites.

"We recognize that there are some citizens who need the PhilID first, I personally believe that people without ID … We expect this to be mostly our poor people," said Ms. Bersales in a press conference at the headquarters of the National Office. Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Pasig City.

Other priorities are seniors and people with disabilities.

Prior to the pilot run, the newly formed PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council began at the beginning of this month to develop policies and guidelines.

The interinstitutional body is also responsible for drafting the implementing rules and regulations for the law, which are expected to be published between the end of September and the beginning of October.

The government aims to have 25 million Filipinos on board every year until 2021.

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

The amount covers the purchase of the system for collecting and storing data and the free provision of the identity cards.

Conglomerates Ayala Corp. (AC) via AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. via Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. together with information technology company Unisys Philippines have submitted a 17-year unsolicited proposal to the PSA, because they design and develop the infrastructure for the national ID system.

After registration, the residents receive a 12-digit PSN that should serve as their digital identity on multiple platforms.

NEDA Minister of State Rosemarie G. Edillon said that the PhilID will eventually replace all other government-issued cards, except the passport, driver's license and professional regulations.

The PhilSys collect the full name, gender, date and place of birth, blood group and address. It also indicates whether a person is a Filipino or a resident alien, and also someone's photo at the front, full set of fingerprints and an iris scan.

In the meantime, the disclosure of a person's marital status, mobile number and e-mail address is optional.

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