Philippines plans biometric enrollment of 105 million people as Manila pilots facial recognition

The Philippines is planning to register 105 million people in its biometric National ID system, and is currently acquiring the technology to run the system, Gulf News reports.

The new Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) will include all citizens of the country, along with resident aliens, or expatriates, in the country, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia says, according to the report.

PhilSys will include thumbprint, iris, and facial biometric data, and it was recently announced that the country’s central bank will produce its biometric ID cards. The system was launched in August, 2018, when registration for Filipinos abroad began at embassies and consular offices.

“We are fast-tracking the implementation,” Pernia announced. “We are now in the stage of procuring the different technologies that are needed such as the automated biometric information system.” He also says final tests will be conducted between September and December, in preparation for mass enrollment starting in 2020. Pernia expects the project to reach 105 million people registered by mid-2022.

An official with the national statistics office estimated that roughly 6 million Filipinos will be registered during the pilot phase by this September. Registration priority will be given to the homeless, people with disabilities, and government workers.

Public facial recognition in Manila

A pilot of cloud and artificial intelligence-based video surveillance with facial recognition capabilities from Iveda has been successfully completed in Metro Manila, according to a company announcement.

Iveda’s Philippines technology partner Filcomserve carried out the pilot in collaboration with Orange I.T., and the partners are now working with Iveda to procure additional IvedaAI appliances to meet the requirements of the next step in the project. IvedaAI was tested in busy intersections in Caloocan City, one of the 17 cities making up Metro Manila. Caloocan manages 150 outdoor cameras at 90 locations, and 50 more inside City Hall. Iveda CEO David Ly says those 200 cameras alone could be worth potential revenue of approximately $550,000 for the company, and revenue from all 17 cities could reach $9.35 million in the next two years.

“We have several surveillance AI vendors offering and providing proof of concept but IvedaAI is the most effective, easy to use and very much cost effective,” asserts Caloocan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) Director James Lao. “AI applied to our existing surveillance system is an essential solution to improve our safety and security monitoring.”

In addition to facial recognition, IvedaAI’s License Plate Recognition (LPR), wrong turn functions, people counting, and intrusion detection capabilities. The system also provides a rule-based “what if” scenario to trigger early interventions, enabling safer and more cost-effective incident responses. IvedaAI was launched last September.

“Smart Cities need more than just security technology. It must embrace the IoT movement. We are empowering cities with our proprietary AI-based, IvedaIoT platform that can manage a variety of sensors throughout the city to aid administrators and officials in making prompt decisions for immediate action,” says Ly.

In a separate project, Iveda is engaging with telecom and utilities providers in the Philippines to ofe digital and IoT services.

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