Duterte approves addt'l ₱3.52-B funding for national ID system

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 16) — Tens of millions of Filipinos will be part of the national ID system by the end of next year as the government approved billions of pesos more in funding to get them on board.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet approved an additional budget of ₱3.52 billion for 2021 for the registration of 20 million individuals to the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys.

This is on top of the target 50 million registrants set earlier by the National Economic and Development Authority for next year, noted Roque.

Pre-registration for the national ID system began in October, which Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said utilizes a three-step approach. Step one involves representatives from the Philippine Statistics Authority going house to house to get the information needed from registrants.

"As of December 11, we have already registered for step one 8.7 million [Filipinos]. And we are hoping by the end of the year, we would exceed 10 million. So that's a very good start," said Chua in an online forum.

Step two, which will begin in January next year, involves individuals proceeding to registration centers to provide their biometrics such as fingerprints and ID scan. The final step, which is the release of the IDs, will begin the month after.

The cards will be given free of charge, according to Chua, but one needs to pay for a new one should they lose it.

Chua added that of the 8.7 million registrants to date, 89% do not have bank accounts because they do not have any sufficient IDs or other requirements to set up such.

"Ang una naming gagawin is pag-register nila sa [The first thing we'll be doing upon their registration for the] national ID in January after the biometrics...Land Bank will co-locate in the registration center to immediately open the bank account," explained Chua, noting this is a step towards financial inclusion for all Filipinos.

In 2018, Duterte signed into law the National ID System Act, which seeks the creation of an official identification card for all citizens which consolidates and interconnects previously issued government IDs. It will also serve as a valid proof of identity for all Filipinos and resident aliens.

The government wants to get 92 million Filipinos onboard with the national ID system by the end of Duterte's term in 2022, even with challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic hounding the country along with the rest of the world.