THE government is currently studying private-sector participation in the registration process for the national ID in 2021, and could begin a search for potential partners “soon,” the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
In a text message Monday, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the agency will still conduct initial registrations this year but may conduct a parallel process next year with outsourcing partners.
“The PSA is open to this starting 2021. For this year, the PSA will do the registration process,” Mr. Mapa said.
The PSA is studying the feasibility of the two-track system and will start looking for potential partners “soon,” he said.
National Economic and Development Authority Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said last month that the PSA will consider outsourcing part of the registration work for the national ID system, formally known as the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
The PSA hopes to start registrations in November, focusing initially on heads of low-income households, particularly the unbanked.
The lack of a universally accepted ID has been blamed for the Philippines’ low levels of financial inclusion, with the unbanked unable to access financial services because of, among other reasons, bank requirements to produce multiple IDs to open an account.
During the pandemic, the distribution of cash aid to vulnerable communities was hindered by the government’s inability to compile lists of beneficiaries, which the national ID will address for future calamities.
A pilot test of the PhilSys pre-registration and the actual registration process was conducted in Marikina City late last month.
The government aims to register five million heads of household this year, 40 million next year and another 40 million in 2022.
The administration hopes to register “most” Filipinos before its six-year term ends in 2022.
The PSA is the main implementing agency of the PhilSys, while the central bank has been tasked to produce the blank cards for the ID.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11055 in August 2018 to establish a single identification system for all citizens, eventually replacing redundant government-issued IDs. — Beatrice M. Laforga