• By The Financial District

DUTERTE BACKS NATIONAL ID PROGRAM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed his support for the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the National ID program during the televised COVID-19 Concerns and Talk to the Nation on May 3, 2021.

The President also shared that he had been looking forward to the implementation of the National ID program since it was proposed during the Ramos administration. “This is something which has long been the dream of every administrator in government, […] so I congratulate you,” President Rodrigo R. Duterte said to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua.


The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) adopted a three-step registration process for the national ID due to the pandemic. Step 1 involves the collection of demographic data and setting of appointment schedule. This is followed by Step 2 or the capture of biometric information at designated registration centers and opening of bank accounts. Step 3 of the registration process is the issuance and delivery of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and card to successful registrants.


During the meeting, Chua reported that, as of May 3, 2021, 33.4 million individuals have registered for Step 1 or the demographic data collection, which is 113.7 percent of the April 30, 2021 target. “We started last year, October 12, 2020, through house-to-house visits to avoid people converging in one place and to not spread the virus,” said Chua.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Moreover, 6.4 million individuals have registered for Step 2 or the biometric data collection. Of this, some 2.2 million individuals have started opening or have opened bank accounts.


“Every time they finish Step 2, National ID registrants without a bank account can just visit the co-located Land Bank kiosk and open an account. We want all households to have at least one member with a bank account by the end of the year to ensure 100 percent financial inclusion by family,” he said.


Chua also emphasized that the National ID program will help accelerate social protection programs and the vaccination program amid the pandemic. “Since poor families will have access to bank accounts, subsidies like the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) can be given directly to beneficiaries without gathering in distribution centers,” he explained.


“The National ID can also be used to queue and register the adults belonging to Priority Group C or the general population once it starts later this year,” he added. Moreover, the NEDA chief reported to the President that the PSA launched the pilot online registration for Step 1 on April 30, 2021 to reduce queues in registration centers and adhere to health protocols.


As previously announced by the PSA, the registration website encountered some technical issues as the number of users exceeded the capacity on the first day. Some 46,000 Filipinos or three times the normal capacity wanted to register at the same time during the first minute. However, the website is designed to accommodate only 16,000 simultaneous users per minute, peaking at 35,000.


Chua also apologized to the President and to the Filipino people for the glitch and affirmed that NEDA and PSA are continuously working with both local and international experts to increase the website’s capacity and to get the platform up and running as soon as possible.


“While this is an unfortunate experience, the volume of Filipinos wanting to register online shows that there is high demand for the National ID. Once we have the National ID, we will be able to deliver more and better government services to the people and help in our country’s recovery,” he added.


In response, the President commended Chua for making the national ID system happen and told him not to worry as he is serving the people well.



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