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ID cards face delays in Philippines, launched in Kenya, use encouraged in Vietnam

ID cards face delays in Philippines, launched in Kenya, use encouraged in Vietnam

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has been urged by the country’s president to speed up printing the ‘digital version’ of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID, also known as PhilID, due to ongoing delays in printing the plastic ID cards.

According to a press release by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. made the announcement in a recent meeting with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and PSA officials.

The assembly reportedly discussed the late “start of the flow of data” from PSA to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the current data volume, which “is less than what is supposed to be.”

In response to these claims, PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa confirmed the BSP is in the process of expediting and boosting the volume of Phil ID production and printing.

The PSA first started implementing the printed digital version of the PhilID in October.

Nairobi to launch new biometric system for staff ID cards

In Nairobi, Kenya, the city-county is considering launching a new biometric system for staff ID cards to reduce increasing cases of extortion.

The new identity documents will be linked to a USSD code, reports Capital News, to support real-time verification by city residents who have often fallen victim to extortionist tactics.

“If the response is negative, then the trader/person being harassed can alert Nairobi City County customer care or report to the nearest police station,” explains Governor Johnson Sakaja, as quoted by Capital News.

The news follows an investigation and ensuing arrest of Dennis Kinari. This suspected imposter solicited payments while pretending to work for the Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board and Monitoring and Evaluation Board.

Also in Kenya, the ID4Africa movement has recently revealed the theme of its upcoming event in May 2023. 

Vietnam wants chip-based ID cards used to improve healthcare

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has called on departments of health and hospitals in the country to promote the implementation of medical examination and treatment covered by health insurance with citizen identification cards (CICs) with chips.

Data from the Vietnam Social Insurance Agency and reported by SGGP suggested there were 11,726 medical examination and treatment facilities nationwide using chip-based citizen identification cards as of November. They reportedly accounted for 92 percent of the total health insurance facilities nationwide.

Additionally, the ministry recorded more than 4.79 million instances of healthcare institutions searching health insurance information using chip-based CICs when receiving health-insured patients for medical examination and treatment.

Despite these figures, however, the rate of medical examination and treatment with chip-based CICs in the total number of medical examination and treatment visits was roughly 4.3 percent overall.

Addressing these discrepancies, the ministry requested heads of infirmaries to review the implementation of medical examination and treatment covered by health insurance using chip-powered CICs or via the VNeID application of the Ministry of Public Security.

The call comes months after the Vietnamese government called for more control of foreign companies’ customer biometric data.

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