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Philippines digital ID registration biometric phase advances amid quarantines

Philippines digital ID registration biometric phase advances amid quarantines

Biometric enrollment for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) is proceeding at pace. Over 26 million people have completed Step 2 of the process, which involves biometric capture, even with the suspension of registration centers due to quarantine restrictions.

The current population of the Philippines is approximately 108 million, meaning around 24 percent have completed Step 2, which follows the form-filling of Step 1.

Online digital ID registration was introduced in April as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, with easier subsidy distribution, financial inclusion, and efficient vaccine distribution being some of the intended benefits of the biometric system.

The country has been one of the worst affected by COVID in Asia, according to Reuters, and has been experiencing high numbers of cases leading to quarantine restrictions being extended on Saturday.

In June the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) closed a deal to open up biometric capture sites with national mall chains for the second phase of the PhilSys program, whereas phase one had predominantly taken place online.

“The PSA estimated around 2.9 million registrations were missed due to these closures, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to prioritize the health and safety of our registrants. We closely monitor registration operations in other areas with lower-level community quarantine rules to ensure that health and safety protocols are strictly observed,” says PSA Undersecretary, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Dennis S. Mapa.

While the PSA has announced the planned launch of a mobile version of the digital ID later this year, registration centers in areas with lower-level quarantine restrictions will continue to operate.

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