Philippines ID system expands across government agencies and social benefit programs
The Philippines Identification System (PhilSys), the country’s digital identity scheme, is making new strides in increasing the availability of its services. The island nation plans to use PhilSys and its identity card PhilID to fast-track the digital transformation of government services and the distribution of social benefits.
“The National ID System will be at the core of this digitally transformed network of government services,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in July. “It will fundamentally change the lives of each Filipino. At 87 percent total registration, we are now closer to establishing a complete, accurate, and reliable digital database of our own for the entire population.”
This week, the country kicked off a food stamp program called Walang Gutom 2027 in a district of its capital, Manila. The project is just one of the ways the Philippine government has been testing the integration of digital ID into social benefits. In July, the Philippine Statistics Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with the Social Security System to adopt PhilSys in social security services and transactions.
Social benefit platform Open Government-to-Person (OpenG2P) recently announced the successful completion of a social welfare cash transfer pilot for the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program that started in March. The PhilSys registry has also been integrated into a database of potential social protection beneficiaries called the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or Listahanan.
Other government agencies have also pledged their support for ePhilID, the digital version of the PhilID card, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Foreign Affairs and the central bank of the Philippines. The DSWD has established a central database of individuals living on the streets with the help of biometrics.
The country also hopes to increase the number of Filipinos with physical ID cards to 50 million by the end of 2023.
The Philippine Statistics Authority, which manages PhilSys and PhilID, said that over 80.2 million people have registered for an ID. Around 36 million have received physical cards, while 39.49 million have received the electronic version. However, issuing cards has been slowed down as the country needs more capacity to print them, CNN reports.