Philippines central bank selected to produce nation’s biometric ID cards

The Philippines Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has reached a government-to-government deal with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to provide the country’s biometric national identification card, the Manila Bulletin reports.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the deal has been approved by the Monetary Board, which he is chair of, and that the PSA is solely responsible for the information included in the national ID. The PSA will collect data for the national ID credential, which is intended to provide verifiable digital identity to many who are currently underserved.

The ID initiative is one of four major infrastructure projects currently being run by the central bank.

The Philippine Identification System, or PhilSys, has a government budget of P 2 to 3 billion (US$39 to $58 million), and a pilot is planned for September or October. The country’s President Rodrigo Duterte signed the PhilSys Act into law in mid-2018, and plans to register 107 million people for ID’s be the end of his term in 2022. It is estimated that the system could save The BSP also took authority over the country’s national payment systems in 2018.

“As payment is considered the first and most used financial service, its availability, accessibility, affordability, and security are crucial in building an inclusive financial system,” says Diokno. “Regular and continuing use of digital payments, especially by the unbanked, can unlock access to other forms of financial services.”

The Philippines began its biometric registration in late 2018, planning to register one million beneficiaries of state aid programs before the end of that fiscal year. The country also used fingerprint biometrics from Gemalto to ensure secure and accurate issuance of ballots for its 2019 midterm elections.

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