Philippines’ government to introduce biometrics-based national ID system

The Philippines’ government will soon roll out a national identification (ID) system following President Duterte’s approval of the project intended to enhance the delivery of government services, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

In the proposed 2018 national budget, Duterte has allocated P2 billion (US$40 million) for the Philippine Statistics Authority to implement the biometrics-based national ID system.

He said the project would make the delivery of social services more efficient, especially in ensuring that the benefit payments would only be sent to authorized recipients of the government’s P89.4-billion (US$1.8 billion) conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

CCT is the country’s poverty alleviation program and includes educational grants, livelihood aid, and health services for the beneficiaries.

“With built-in Europe, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chips containing an individual’s personal information and biometrics, the national ID will ensure the effective implementation of government services, more specifically social benefits and transfers to entitled individuals,” Duterte said in his budget message to Congress.

The national ID system could also be used for applications for passport, driver’s license, and other services from agencies such as Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund, and the National Bureau of Investigation, Duterte said.

The government has carved out approximately P89.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) to fund the CCT program which is expected to benefit 4.4 million low-income households in 2018.

Dutere said the government would enforce stringent requirements regarding the eligibility of the CCT and in monitoring whether or not the beneficiaries are considered to be below or above the poverty line.

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