October 21, 2019

The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Policy and Coordinating Council (PSPCC), chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), met on Friday, October 18, to discuss the early results of pilot test registration held in September and identify potential bottlenecks and issues to be addressed.

During the meeting held at the NEDA Central Office in Pasig City, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia called for faster movement on the establishment of data centers to accommodate the increased number of registrants starting next year.

“The data centers should already be in place right now, if not, at least by December so they are usable in early January 2020. We need to act more swiftly and ensure that we will have no delays in the implementation of the National ID. We want to complete the entire process on schedule, i.e., by mid-2022.” said Pernia.

A total of 525 select individuals from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) beneficiaries and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) employees were registered during the pilot test registration conducted from September 2 to 25, 2019.

Based on results from the pilot test, the PSPCC discussed ways to further reduce the processing time so as not to make people wait too long. Processing involves screening, demographic and biometric capturing, and printing of transaction slip.

PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Dennis S. Mapa said they will be expanding the number of registrants for the November to December rounds to capture more data especially for registrants at ages 60 and above to develop better queuing strategies before the official exponential roll-out by June 2020.

For card production, PSA recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Under the agreement, PSA will take charge of the database management, the accuracy of the personal information to be placed in BSP-produced blank cards, and undertaking the personalization, quality checking, and distribution of the IDs.

Acknowledging the complexity of implementing a secure national ID system, Pernia said it is necessary for government agencies to collaborate and help hasten the implementation of PhilSys. He urged government agencies to overcome bureaucratic red tape, saying this is precisely what the PhilSys ID wants to reduce.

“We know that budget is limited and that government procedures, rules, and regulations can be very restrictive. But it is incumbent upon us to find new ways of doing things for all of us to be efficient and to make transactions hassle-free for citizens,” Pernia added.

The series of pilot test registrations will run from September 2019 until May 2020 before the mass registration scheduled in June. PSA aims to register almost all Filipinos in the PhilSys by mid-2022.

The PSPCC was organized under RA 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act “to formulate policies and guidelines to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the PhilSys”.