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Philippines government calls on government to accept government-issued ID cards

Philippines government calls on government to accept government-issued ID cards

Government agencies and private bodies in the Philippines have been asked to honor the new biometric PhilID national identity credentials. The call was accompanied by a series of other announcements surrounding the overall Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) on attempted fraud, data security and requests to do more door-to-door registrations.

The National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Undersecretary of the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), Dennis S. Mapa, was quoted by the Philippine News Agency as saying the PSA alone cannot achieve the vision of a digital ecosystem: “I enjoin the government and private sector to actively participate in the PhilSys implementation by honoring and accepting the PhilID as sufficient, valid proof of identity in line with the law, without the need to present any other ID.”

A week earlier, the PSA issued a warning that establishments refusing to accept the PhilID cards for proof of identity would be violating the Philippine Identification System Act and be subject to a fine.

Door-to-door registration progress

More than ten million people have registered so far to Step 2 and over one hundred thousand digital ID cards have been issued via PHLPost. Authorities hope to register 70 million people for the digital ID by the end of the year.

It is a three-step process. Step 1 is to collect basic demographic information of the registrant; Step 2 is the biometric capture including fingerprints and iris scan; Step 3 is the collection of the final PhilID card.

The Cordillera Administrative Region in the far north has requested an extension for carrying out door-to-door Step 1 registration due to a highly successful initial period. The regional director for the PSA, Villafe Alibuyog, announced her office had a request pending with the central office to continue the scheme after registering 140 percent more people than anticipated, reports the PNA.

From January to April, enumerators registered 534,350 people, way beyond the target of 380,460. Alibuyog said the process is helpful for those who are not able to go online and complete Step 1 on their own.

Of the 6.4 million who had registered to Step 2 by May 3 2021, 2.2 million had submitted their documents for opening an account with the Land Bank of the Philippines. Of these, 806,000 successfully opened an account, according to a May 23 report from the PNA, which states that those from low-income families now have access to government assistance as well as private sector credit.

Fraud warnings

The PSA has also issued warnings to the public over websites posing as representatives of the authority. The PSA has listed the names and, in some cases, the web addresses of fake service providers, reminding the public that only the PhilSys portal and Facebook page are to be trusted.

The authority has issued further reassurance that the data of PhilSys registrants is safe. The PhilID cards issued by the System have two numbers printed on them. The 16-digit PhilID Card Number or PCN is clearly printed on the front and is used for ID verification purposes.

The 12-digit PhilSys Number or PSN is microprinted on the reverse “to prevent it from being easily seen or captured,” the PNA quotes the PSA as saying. Both numbers are protected by security features, but card holders are reminded to only use their PCNs for transactions, no their PSNs. Entities seeking to verify holders should likewise only request PCNs.

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