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PSA opens PhilSys’ biometric registration process to the public

50 million-plus Filipinos targeted to be signed up by the end of 2021
PSA opens PhilSys’ biometric registration process to the public

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) opened the second, biometrics-focused part of the registration process for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project nationwide, PCI reports.

The announcement was made by PSA Assistant Secretary Rosalinda Bautista during an interview for the DWDD radio program last week.

“For the whole year of 2021, we are committed to complete the registration of about 50 to 70 million Filipinos,” she said on the radio interview.

The move follows the end of Step 1 of the registration process, which ran from October to December, and saw the collection of demographic data from around 10.5 million targeted low-income Filipinos.

Now, Step 2 of the process will focus on the validation of supporting documents and capturing the registrants’ biometric information.

This will include fingerprint biometrics, iris scans, and face photographs, which will be collected at dedicated registration centers.

The first biometric registration center opened in San Pablo City, Laguna, and has already provided over 200 registrants with a personal serial number (PSN).

During the interview, Bautista clarified that the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card will not replace existing IDs serving other purposes, but will instead act as a valid proof of identity when complex transactions with both government and private sector.

The PhilID will be free to obtain, and will not have an expiring date for residents. It will, however, have a validity of only one year for resident aliens or foreign nationals residing in the country.

To address privacy concerns, the PSA Assistant Secretary said the implementation of PhilSys is being carried out while following the Data Privacy Act of 2012 regulations.

“The Department of Information and Technology, the National Privacy Commission, and the National Security Council are looking into all of these processes,” she explained.

According to Bautista, all biometrics and other data will be encrypted and will be invisible even to PSA employees. It will only be shared with third-parties with the direct permission of data owners.

Moving forward, Bautista also said the PSA is working on a pilot program for the registration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Filipinos residing abroad with dual citizenship, which will happen abroad in 2022.

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