Over 70 million PhilIDs issued as PSA, Philippines Post re-commit to delivery
It has been an eventful month for the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which announced a new milestone in implementing the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
On Tuesday, the PSA confirmed that as of 16 June 2023, the total number of delivered PhilIDs was 33,422,502, while the number of issued ePhilIDs — printed and downloadable — was 36,848,828.
“The PSA shall continue its efforts in expediting the issuance of the PhilID and ePhilID,” commented PSA undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa.
“We encourage our kababayans [fellow Filipinos] who have received their PhilID and ePhilID to maximize its use in their transactions.”
Meanwhile, a government body called the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has sent a circular to all public sector offices and organizations at various levels in the Philippines to urge them to accept the various forms of PhilID, reports Malaysia Business Insight. The guidance was sent in response to reports that some entities have refused to accept the printed or digital form of the ID.
People or entities refusing to accept PhilID could be fined 500,000 Philippine pesos (approximately US$9,050), and officials could be barred from holding public office.
PSA and PHLPost renew PhilID efforts
The PSA has also recently renewed its partnership with PHLPost to expedite the delivery of PhilIDs to registered Filipinos under PhilSys.
The move comes after the appointment of a new postmaster general and chief executive officer, Luis D. Carlos, last month.
In a meeting between Mapa and Carlos, the parties discussed the need for close collaboration and combined efforts, particularly in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
PHLPost emphasized that PhilID delivery is a top priority and will work closely with PSA Field Offices to address challenges such as unclaimed PhilIDs and applicants who change locations.
Pimentel calls for investigation into delayed IDs
In other Philippine news, senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel III has called for an investigation into the prolonged delay in issuing the national IDs.
According to the Inquirer, Pimentel raised concerns about the quality and durability of national identification cards, citing cases where they become unreadable within three months.
The senator also highlighted findings from the Commission on Audit, revealing that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had only delivered 27,356,750 pre-personalized cards by the end of 2021, which falls short of the required 36 million IDs for that year.
The BSP is expected to deliver 116 million pre-personalized IDs from 2021 to 2023, according to the senator’s resolution.
More generally, the investigation aims to uncover any potential wrongdoing within the PSA and ensure the smooth implementation of the PhilIDs.
The probe comes days after the Commission on Elections of the Philippines (Comelec) expressed intentions to add iris and more fingerprints to the current biometric system.