Gov’t to launch national ID by December

MANILA, Philippines – Select regions and families will be the first to get their hands on the new national ID  for its pilot launch on December.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on Friday, August 24, that they intend to launch the cards for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act to 1 million households in the National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

“The plan is to focus on 3 regions where PHLPost (Philippine Postal Corporation) is most accessible. At the same time, these are the regions that will not be so difficult to do the pilot,” national statistician Lisa Grace Bersales said.

She added that they will be closely working with the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), as they will be aiming to give out the IDs to unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries. The national ID aims to hasten the process in getting cash dole outs.

"The PhilSys Act is all about inclusivity, it promotes our aspiration for every Filipino to enjoy a good, meaningful, and fruitful life,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said.

The rollout and other plans are still subject to the approval of the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council.

NEDA and PSA aimed for all Filipinos to be registered in PhilSys in 4 years. The total estimated cost of the project is at P30 billion.

The government aimed to publish the law’s implementing rules and regulations by end of September or the first half of October.

A consortium composed of Ayala Corporation, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, and Unisys Philippines submitted an unsolicited proposal to design and develop the infrastructure for the national ID.

PhilSys a system that centralizes all personal information of Filipino citizens and resident aliens and generates a Philippine ID (PhilID) and PhilSys Number (PSN) that will be used to authenticate their identity in all government and private sector transactions. 

However, privacy experts have warned that the move is essentially a comprehensive surveillance system. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.