Leaders in Philippines weigh ePhilIDs vs physical IDs amid problems meeting production
As of September 8th, 2023, roughly 81 million Filipinos have registered for national IDs in the past three years, but only 39.1 million IDs have actually been delivered, according to CNN Philippines reporting. Those who have yet to receive their physical IDs must rely on print-outs with their digital ID numbers.
National IDs are currently the main requirement for SIM card registration, but Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank and ID card supplier, can only print 80,000 ID cards per day. The national government plans to clear the backlog and provide 42 million ePhilID card users with national ID cards by September of next year. Neda proposes a 1.6 billion Philippine pesos (roughly US$28 million) budget for Philsys in 2024 as part of a larger ₱12.21 billion ($213.7 million) budget.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sonny Angara himself has yet to receive his national ID. Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Sherwin Gatchalian argued that the nation should shift entirely to a digital ID system in response to unmet printing demands in a recent Senate committee on finance hearing, according to Inquirer.net.
However, “Not all Filipinos aged 15 and above have smartphones. [In the Philippines], at least one household has a smartphone, but not per member,” said National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa in the hearing. In areas with very poor connectivity, “We are doing some priority deliveries because they need physical cards.”