August 18, 2022

Even while recovering from a second Covid-19 infection, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. met via teleconference with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General, to order the faster distribution of national ID cards for use by all Filipinos by 2023. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), NEDA’s attached agency, is tasked to lead in implementing the national ID system that is mandated in Republic Act No. 11055, the Philippine Identification System Act.

According to the Philippine Postal Authority’s latest report, it has already delivered around 14 million ID cards. Although the law mandating the issuance of national ID cards was passed in 2018, it was not until last year that fixed and mobile registration centers were put up by the PSA. Alternating episodes of quarantine and lockdown also hampered registration of ID applicants. Despite these, the PSA has reported that around 50 million Filipinos — or close to half of the country’s population — have already been registered for the national ID by end 2021.

Toward the end of his term, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed impatience over apparent delays in the issuance of the national ID. A waiting period of six months to one year has been noted. As pointed out by Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, the national ID is a “trusted card used for the speedy distribution of cash aid, fuel vouchers, health benefits, and other basic services” needed by Filipinos to help tide them over the difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a recent Commission on Audit (COA) report, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas needs to catch up with the schedule of producing national ID cards for around 116 million Filipinos within a four-year period. With the easing of mobility restrictions, it is reasonable to expect a rapid ramping up of ID card production and distribution.

The law that created the Philippine Identification System or the PhilSys for all citizens and residents of the Republic, aimed “to promote seamless delivery of service; to improve the efficiency, transparency, and targeted delivery of public and social services; to enhance administrative governance; to reduce corruption and bureaucratic red tape, to avert fraudulent transactions and misrepresentation; to strengthen financial inclusion; and to promote ease of doing business.” In order to achieve all of these objectives, “a resilient digital system shall be deployed to secure the data collected and to ensure that the people’s right to privacy, confidentiality and other basic rights are at all times upheld and protected.”

Indeed, the issuance of national ID cards is a comprehensive program that requires utmost competence and efficiency on the part of government agencies that are tasked to ensure its effective implementation. Considering that more than four years have passed since the law was enacted, citizens and residents have every right to expect that the distribution of national ID cards will be fast-tracked so they could reap the benefits from its use.

Even while recovering from a second Covid-19 infection, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. met via teleconference with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is also National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General, to order the faster distribution of national ID cards for use by all Filipinos by 2023. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), NEDA’s attached agency, is tasked to lead in implementing the national ID system that is mandated in Republic Act No. 11055, the Philippine Identification System Act.

According to the Philippine Postal Authority’s latest report, it has already delivered around 14 million ID cards. Although the law mandating the issuance of national ID cards was passed in 2018, it was not until last year that fixed and mobile registration centers were put up by the PSA. Alternating episodes of quarantine and lockdown also hampered registration of ID applicants. Despite these, the PSA has reported that around 50 million Filipinos — or close to half of the country’s population — have already been registered for the national ID by end 2021.

Toward the end of his term, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed impatience over apparent delays in the issuance of the national ID. A waiting period of six months to one year has been noted. As pointed out by Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, the national ID is a “trusted card used for the speedy distribution of cash aid, fuel vouchers, health benefits, and other basic services” needed by Filipinos to help tide them over the difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a recent Commission on Audit (COA) report, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas needs to catch up with the schedule of producing national ID cards for around 116 million Filipinos within a four-year period. With the easing of mobility restrictions, it is reasonable to expect a rapid ramping up of ID card production and distribution.

The law that created the Philippine Identification System or the PhilSys for all citizens and residents of the Republic, aimed “to promote seamless delivery of service; to improve the efficiency, transparency, and targeted delivery of public and social services; to enhance administrative governance; to reduce corruption and bureaucratic red tape, to avert fraudulent transactions and misrepresentation; to strengthen financial inclusion; and to promote ease of doing business.” In order to achieve all of these objectives, “a resilient digital system shall be deployed to secure the data collected and to ensure that the people’s right to privacy, confidentiality and other basic rights are at all times upheld and protected.”

Indeed, the issuance of national ID cards is a comprehensive program that requires utmost competence and efficiency on the part of government agencies that are tasked to ensure its effective implementation. Considering that more than four years have passed since the law was enacted, citizens and residents have every right to expect that the distribution of national ID cards will be fast-tracked so they could reap the benefits from its use.

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