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Philippines biometric national ID system pre-registration to start in Q4, prioritize the unbanked

Philippines biometric national ID system pre-registration to start in Q4, prioritize the unbanked

Pre-registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) could start as early as October according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua, Philstar Global reports. The law for the biometric national ID scheme was signed in August 2018.

PhilSys is an ID system that uses biometric information and general personal details to prove citizens’ and residents’ identity, as well as promote financial inclusion for low-income families.

“Starting October, we can start the house-to-house pre-registration. There will be an appointment system in which you will only go to registration centers for the biometrics,” Chua told radio station DWIZ.

Demographics, including names and ages, would be taken at home while biometric data such as fingerprints, iris scans and front-facing photographs would be collected at registration centers.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is prioritizing the registration of unbanked household heads belonging to low-income families starting in Q4 this year. Chua said five million household heads will be registered this year and that the PSA expects next year to register 40 million, but it all depends on the quarantine status.

This summer, the PSA rolled out a pilot of the door-to-door pre-registration system to collect all information other than biometrics in order to shorten the amount of time spent in registration center queues.

Once PhilSys is implemented and given the pandemic situation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno hopes to see fast growth in financial digitalization and digital identification for unbanked Filipinos, Manila Bulletin writes.

Statistics show there are currently 51.2 million unbanked adult Filipinos.

“The (pandemic) crisis has highlighted the importance of having a comprehensive and reliable database of citizens. For one, it is imperative for the effective rollout of welfare benefits and other services,” Diokno said in a forum. “Once the national ID system is in place, all Filipinos will have a reliable and nationally accepted proof of identity.”

“(They) will have a proof of identity, which is a KYC (Know Your Customer) requirement in opening a bank account,” he added. “As such, access to financial services will be easier and more people can actively participate in the country’s economic activities.”

Before COVID-19, the bank had planned to issue 116 million national ID cards. It reports four million digital accounts were created between March 17 and April 30, and an increase in usage of PESONet and InstaPay platforms.

Diokno’s goal for the next three years is for 50 percent of financial transactions to be digital and for 70 percent of adult Filipinos to have banking accounts. This may be achieved faster due to COVID-19 measures.

Overseas voter registration

Comelec, the country’s Commission on Elections, started on September 1 voter registration and certification for Filipinos who will be overseas between April 9 and May 9, 2022, according to Philippine Lifestyle.

First time voters will have to provide their biometric information.

“All types of applications will be accepted, including registration/certification as overseas voter; recapture of biometrics; reinstatement of name; change of name due to marriage or court order; correction of entries; request to withdraw application/certification; reactivation; change or updating of address and other contact information; and updating of photograph and/or signature, until September 30 2021,” the Comelec said.

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