By Billy Begas
Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte on Thursday urged the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to find ways to accelerate the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project.
Duterte said the PhilSys or national ID system will complement measures seeking to shift government transactions online to further reduce red tape and hasten the delivery of basic services.
He said the national ID will also help weed out unqualified beneficiaries from the social protection programs and give the government a better mechanism for targeting those who really need help.
“Even those who dupe the system by getting senior citizen ID cards even though they are not yet qualified to avail of the benefits for seniors will be weeded out,” Duterte said.
The solon noted that his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte has allocated substantial funds for the implementation of PhilSys.
However, a 2021 report of the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that the BSP and its contractor tasked to deliver the physical PhilSys cards were unable to meet their production targets.
The PSA is the chief implementer of the project, while the BSP is in charge of the production of the actual card. The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) on the other hand handles the delivery.
Duterte said many applicants have been waiting for their physical ID for more than six months now.
The PSA said it has already registered 74% or 68.3 million national ID applicants out of its 92 million target as of June 30. Out of this number, only 13.86 million physical cards have been delivered.
PSA’s plan to issue printable versions of the national ID with a corresponding mobile ID that can be accessed through the PhilSys app could be a step in fast-tracking the implementation of the project, Duterte said.
But Duterte said this should not stop PSA from printing the physical ID cards noting that some P4.84 billion was appropriated this year for the project.
In August 2018, President Duterte signed into law the Philsys Act (RA 11055). In February 2022, the former President issued Executive Order No. 162 mandating the use of the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card in its printed or electronic form as sufficient proof of identity and age in all government and private transactions.
The EO states that the PhilID and its corresponding Philsys Number (PSN) shall be honored in all transactions that require proof of identity without the need to present other identification documents unless otherwise provided by law.