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Philippines, Bangladesh enroll biometrics for ID cards to secure voter registration

Philippines, Bangladesh enroll biometrics for ID cards to secure voter registration

The Philippines has announced plans to counter election fraud through its own national identity card, reports Philstar.

Rosalinda Bautista at the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) claims the new, biometric-based identity for Filipino citizens and residents will help to obstruct and identify attempts at voter fraud.

Though it will not replace government issued identification, the system facilitates easy proof of identity via fingerprint biometrics, iris scans and facial recognition; along with biographic details and blood type. Therefore, ‘even if you try to register under different names, your fingerprints in the system will be the same,’ Bautista states.

The registration process is quick and efficient, taking 4.9 minutes per person, according to the report. Business Mirror reports that 3.3 million Filipinos have completed Step 1 so far, 175,000 citizens of which never previously had any form of ID.

The pre-registration Step 1 involves the collection of demographic information, Step Two is biometric collection, and Step 3 is issuance of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and physical ID (PhilID), which is expected to be completed next year.

The PSA hopes to have five million registered users for the foundational ID by the end of this year, and 90 percent of the population (92 million people) in the system by the 2022 elections.

Bangladeshi expats eligible for a smart NID

Bangladeshi expatriates in four countries (Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the UAE) may now apply for a national identity card (NID) which will allow them to register in the national electoral voting system remotely, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

Expats must produce six different identity and citizenship documents through online portals to apply for NIDs, and the government is sending technical teams to the above countries and Kuwait to begin physical biometric data collection, having been prevented from doing so at program launch by the pandemic. The card registration service may soon reach at least one more country, and is expected to eventually be available to expatriates in 40 countries.

Smart NID cards have been in operation since 2016 in Bangladesh, allowing identity verification conveniently through the database.

The NID system is currently free, and will be incorporated into the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) which is backed by the World Bank.

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