Gov’t to start 6-month test of national ID system in 2018

Pia Ranada
Gov’t to start 6-month test of national ID system in 2018
By the end of 2018, one million unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries will be asked to register for a PhilSys ID. The Philippine Statistics Authority also introduces the national ID system logo.

MANILA, Philippines – Before 2018 is over, the government will begin a “proof of concept” trial period for the issuance of national identification cards officially known as Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) IDs. (READ: National ID law: Here’s the law, plus a quick summary)

This was announced by National Statistician and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Lisa Bersales on Monday, October 29, during a Malacañang news briefing.

“We are going to do a proof of concept this year, before the year ends. This is to test the system and the processes that we have already crafted for the Philippine Identification System,” she said.

The “proof of concept” period will last around 6 months. It will be implemented by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) through an agency-to-agency agreement with the PSA, the government agency in charge of the national ID system.

During this test run, one million unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries will be asked to register for national IDs, which they would be able to start using ahead of other Filipinos.

“For the proof of concept, we shall be enrolling one million unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries and so we will also partner with DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to identify these one million,” said Bersales.

Back in August, she had said the first rollout of national IDs would target 3 regions – Metro Manila, Calabarzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region. But on Monday, she said the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council decided to expand the initial rollout to other regions.

The government hopes to learn from the proof of concept period so it can make adjustments to the registration process or technical specifications to be indicated in the contract for the full implementation of the program.

PHLPost was chosen by the PSA because of its decades of experience in conducting registration for the Social Security System and its over 260 registration centers nationwide which can be used for the national ID system rollout.

Bidding for first phase

While PHLPost will be a PSA partner for the trial period, the PSA will still bid out components of the program relating to its software and hardware needs.

The invitation for bidders will be made in the week of November 5.

“We, PSA, shall already call for a bid to do the PhilSys for the proof of concept next week. We are going to already invite bids for the proof of concept,” Bersales said.

After the 6-month trial period, the PSA will conduct bidding for the full implementation of the system, which will aim for 6 million registrants, in 2019.

“In 2019, we will start for other citizens before the year ends. By September, maybe. We start September for the first 6 million after the first [one million] UCTB (unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries),” said Bersales.

Starting 2020, the government will target the registration of 25 million Filipinos and resident aliens every year. If this is successful, all Filipinos and resident aliens will have their PhilSys IDs by 2023.

On Monday, the PSA also introduced the PhilSys ID logo, consisting of images of a fingerprint and the baybayin symbol for “ako” (me).

The Implementing Rules and Regulations for the national ID law had been approved by the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council on October 5, and published in the Daily Tribune on October 6. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at