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Philippines president calls for speedier issuance of biometric PhilID cards

Philippines president calls for speedier issuance of biometric PhilID cards

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has been told to accelerate efforts in the printing and distribution of the biometric national ID card, the PhilID, so that many more Filipinos will be in possession of the IDs by the first half of next year.

The directive was given by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after a virtual meeting with Arsenio Barlisacan, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), writes Page One, citing a Facebook post from the president.

The call from the president comes after recent figures from the PSA show the issuance of physical cards is still slow, despite a jump in the number of registrants, up to 68.3 million as of the last count.

The PSA plans to reach 94 million people for ID registration by the end of this year.

In line with the president’s call, the representative of Davao City, Paolo Duterte, has also urged the PSA and its partners to accelerate the issuance process of the cards to enable service delivery and facilitate access to government aid.

One of the purposes of the PhilID is to drive financial inclusion as over seven million new card holders now have bank accounts.

“We urge the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] and PSA to come up with a good catch-up plan to speed up the implementation of this vital project,” said the lawmaker in a statement.

While highlighting the importance of the ID system in fighting fraud, Duterte said the PSA should continue producing the cards as PHP 4.48 billion (US$79.5 million) has been allocated for that purpose in the 2022 state budget.

Philippine presidency press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also recently addressed questions on the ID, underlining its importance and contributions to the Philippines’ economic recovery efforts from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The national ID system is necessary because that is part of our economic recovery. It is essential, especially in terms of banking systems or establishment of any business, including small businesses. The national ID system is also important for credit system,” said Cruz-Angeles.

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