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Philippines going digital by default? Vietnam’s national IDs ‘introduced’

Philippines going digital by default? Vietnam’s national IDs ‘introduced’

Vietnam and The Philippines are moving on digital IDs, although only one of the South China Sea nations as part of a government plan.

Vietnam, with an autocratic government and centrally controlled economy, is the one with a plan, in this case: Developing an Application for Population Database, Digital Identification and Authentication for the National Digital Transformation from 2022-2025, with a Vision to 2030 (Project 06).

Based on an article in Saigon Giai Phong, a regional publication of that nation’s communist party, Project 06 could use a little help.

The government has digitally published 125 million public documents on a national public service portal. That pace is “slower than expected,” according to statements attributed to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. That proportion of digitalization “is not truly high.”

In April, country officials said 50 million residents had had their biometrics captured for ID authentication.

On the other hand, the national digital citizenship document application – the VNeID – has been introduced, according to the article. Translated into English by the ruling party, the article is not clear if the digital IDs are available or if the program is ready to flip the switch.

The app reportedly will hold a number of datapoints for people, including education level, list of relatives, social security status, health insurance, vaccination, driving license, bank account number and mobile phone account. Between 3 million and 5 million residents will use the app “fluently” by yearend.

In The Philippines, the national government is considering creating electronic versions of the national ID while the nation waits for the previously ordered physical cards, according to commercial publisher ABS-CBN News.

Ivan John Uy, secretary for the Department of Information and Communications Technology is quoted in an ABS-CBN article saying, “Instead of just waiting for the printed, tangible IDs,” digital IDs should be created now.

Uy said printing holdups are frustrating plans to get IDs out to the nation.

Separately, the publication says that as of last December, 50 million Filipinos has signed up for PhilSys accounts, a government-managed, centralized program that enable people to control who collects what data about them during a transaction. But only 14.3 million have been distributed.

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