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Response time of Philippines’ digital ID portal for transport recovering

PhilSys registers 72 million Filipinos

The Land Transportation Office in Manila, Philippines, announced its Land Transportation Management System portal has recovered following a couple of weeks of slowdowns.

According to the transportation office, the portal, through which Filipinos apply for driver’s licenses and perform other administrative tasks with biometric authentication, recovered thanks to the office’s partnership with biometrics provider Dermalog.

“Our system is doing well. Downtime is not similar to what we had in previous weeks,” said Alex Abaton, the legal special assistant to the office’s assistant secretary. Abaton was speaking at a briefing Friday. “In the next few days, our citizens can expect faster and better service.”

According to Abaton, system slowdowns experienced at the transportation office’s website were caused by increased transactions being processed, traffic that picked up considerably after the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That’s why a bottleneck happened,” he said.

The announcement comes days after the office announced a partnership with Dermalog, but the relationship with the company has been dogged by controversy for months.

In August, the contract came under scrutiny by transportation office chief Teofilo Guadiz. Guadiz said that the system provided by Dermalog was not as good as one created by Dermalog’s predecessor, Stradcom.

Days later, the office backtracked on those comments, and said the contract was not at risk.

This month, the central government published an article on its site saying that transportation officials had met with Dermalog executives to try to address the problems with their portal work.

PhilSys surpasses 70M ID registrations

The Philippine Statistics Authority says it is closer to its goal of registering 92 million citizens with the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) this year. The new total is above 70 million registrations.

More specifically, authority officials announced Monday that as of August 26, 72,348,546 Filipinos had completed their PhilSys step two registration, which involves the capture of biometric information — fingerprints, iris and face. That is 78.6 percent of the authority’s goal.

Agency Undersecretary Dennis S. Mapa says PhilSys had reached 2,777 schools with 362,220 step two registrations of students as of August 31.

“We would like to assure the public that we are on track in achieving our goal to provide immediate and improved access to financial and social protection services, especially to low-income individuals,” he says.

Mapa says the stats authority will issue 30 million physical identity cards and 20 million digital IDs by the end of 2022.

“The digital ID has the same functionality and validity as the physical PhilID cards,” explains Fred Sollesta, officer-in-charge and deputy national statistician of the PhilSys registry office. “This will allow Filipinos to enjoy the benefits of being registered to PhilSys while waiting for their physical cards.”

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