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Digital ID process questioned in Nepal, Kenya; Philippines issuance hits 60M

Digital ID process questioned in Nepal, Kenya; Philippines issuance hits 60M

Dozens of Nepalese citizens have questioned the usefulness of the national digital ID card launched by the government in 2018. According to a recent article by the Kathmandu Post, the digital ID was created to replace several IDs and facilitate access to government services.

However, the document has not yet, as had been expected, replaced the citizenship certificate, a document required for government jobs and other services. It is not accepted by the Department of Transport Management or Public Service Commission, either.

The digital ID is only required when applying for a passport or taking a medical entrance exam.

The Department of National ID and Civil Registration confirmed it had distributed 133,000 cards but more than 1.2 million cards have been printed. Biometrics of 11.4 million people across the country have also been collected.

Insufficient funding has hampered distribution, said Krishna Paudel, a spokesperson for the department. That could change as the government prepares to make having the card mandatory.

Implementing the digital ID infrastructure is expected to cost 20 billion Nepalese rupees (US$243 million). About Rs4 billion ($48.6 million) has been spent on distribution and storage of cards.

Kenyan MP points to discrimination in ID issuance

Meanwhile, in Kenya, Marsabit Woman Representative Naomi Waqo has criticized local administrators for withholding identity cards in the border town of Moyale.

According to reporting by KBC, Waqo said that 18-year-olds are being denied identity documents unless they pay bribes.

PSA announces new PhilID milestones

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced it has issued over 60 million PhilIDs and ePhilIDs, a new milestone in its implementation of PhilSys, the country’s ID system.

“Reaching 60 million national IDs printed brings us closer to fully realizing the envisioned benefits of PhilSys,” comments PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa. “That’s why our coordination with government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) centers on using PhilSys to support the implementation of social protection programs.”

The PSA also says password-protected ePhilIDs via mobile devices is now possible using an SMS code.

Verification can be done by scanning the QR code of the PhilID or ePhilID through the identity authentication tool, PhilSys Check, Mapa adds.

The milestones come weeks after PSA confirmed it had issued over 50 million physical and digital cards.

The country’s national police (PNP) recently launched a digitized booking system for arrested individuals that requires the collection of their biometrics.

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