Before the Philippine Identification System Act (Republic Act 11055) was signed into law by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018, the Philippines was just one of the few countries that didn’t have a national ID system in place.
Since the PhilSys national ID registration was opened to the public in 2020, millions of Filipinos have completed the biometrics procedure.
In 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that it would fast-track the production of the National ID cards to comply with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive to deliver 50 million IDs by the end of the year. According to Fred Sollesta, the PSA’s Deputy National Statistician, they're now targeting to produce 133,000 IDs a day from the usual 80,000 IDs per day starting in October 2022.
If you’re planning to get a PhilSys National ID or just waiting for it to be delivered, read this article for a quick walkthrough of the registration process.
What is PhilSys?
The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), also called the National ID system, is the central identification platform of the government for all citizens and foreign residents in the Philippines. It was established under the Philippine Identification System Act or Republic Act 11055.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the National ID system's chief implementor, the concept behind PhilSys is simple: It will answer "Who are you?" and "Are you who you really say you are?"
What is the PhilSys National ID?
The PhilSys National ID is a nontransferable identification card that serves as a valid proof of identity for people registered under the PhilSys.
While the National ID is considered an official government-issued ID in the Philippines, the PhilSys ID isn't meant to replace other existing valid IDs used for purposes other than identity verification. These government IDs include passports (for travel), UMID (for SSS/GSIS transactions), PRC ID (for practicing a profession), and driver's license (for driving).
Who is Eligible for a PhilSys National ID?
You should register in PhilSys and get a National ID if you're one of the following:
- Filipino citizens, including those with dual or multiple citizenships
- OFWs and other citizens living abroad
- Foreign nationals living in the Philippines for over six months
Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for PhilSys National ID Registration?
According to PhilSys, registration is open to all ages, including newborn children. For kids below five years old, only their demographic information and front-facing photographs will be collected. Their PhilSys Number (more on this later) will be linked to their parent or legal guardian.
However, once the kid turns 15, they need to update their information and get their biometrics recaptured.
PhilSys National ID Features
The PhilSys ID contains a 12-digit number called the PhilSys Number (PSN). This unique and lifetime identification number is assigned to each eligible cardholder either upon birth or registration in the PhilSys.
In addition to the printed PhilSys Number, the National ID features a QR code that also contains the cardholder's PSN and two fingerprint data.
The following personal information will also appear on your National ID:
- Last name, first name, and middle name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Blood type
- Citizenship (Filipino or Resident Alien)
- Marital status
- Mobile number
- Email address
Biometric Data Captured Under PhilSys:
- Front-facing photo
- Full set of fingerprints
- Iris scan
Benefits and Uses of Philsys National ID
While a lot of people have countered the National ID system, it actually comes with a lot of benefits. In the Philippines, these are the benefits of a National ID system:
Easier Transactions with Government and Private Organizations
Once the National ID system is fully implemented in the Philippines, Filipinos can use their IDs as sole proof of identity when opening a bank account. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released a memorandum telling financial institutions to recognize the National ID card when carrying out their Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process. Citizens will find that opening an account will be easier and more efficient.
Former President Duterte also ordered government agencies and private institutions to start accepting the PhilSys National ID as sufficient proof of identification to improve the delivery of public services and promote ease of doing business.
The National ID will serve as the state’s central identification platform for all citizens and resident aliens of the country, the former president stated in Executive Order No. 162.
Simpler and Faster Access to Government Services
The National ID will be accepted in most government transactions. This means that you'll have better and quicker access to government services, such as financial assistance, social protection, health education, and more.
Reducing Identify Fraud
One of the functions of the National ID system is to identify each registered Filipino at a national level. With this capability, the government will be able to reduce or eliminate identity fraud while strengthening the accuracy and integrity of identification databases.
Preparing Filipinos for the Digital World
The Philippines has gone digital. With that, PhilSys aims to facilitate Filipinos’ transition to a system where the government delivers its services via digital means and channels.
Control Over Your Personal Data
The National ID system empowers Filipinos by allowing them to determine who sees their data during transactions using PhilSys. This fosters transparency and accountability when it comes to data handling in the country.
Where is the PhilSys National Accepted?
The National ID is accepted in a wide range of transactions in public and private sectors in the Philippines, including the following:
- Application for social welfare programs and benefits from the SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, and other government agencies
- Issuance of passport, driver's license, and other government-issued IDs
- Bank account opening and other transactions with banks and other financial transactions
- Tax-related transactions
- COMELEC registration and voting
- Admission to schools or government hospitals
- Transactions for employment purposes
How Do I Register for PhilSys Online? 3 Easy Steps for National ID Registration
If you want to know how to register for a National ID online, follow these three steps:
Step 1: Register Through the PhilSys Website
Log on to register.philsys.gov.ph and fill out the application form. You’ll also be prompted to book your preferred appointment schedule for Step 2. You’ll receive a copy of your Application Reference Number (ARN) or a QR code, which you’ll need to present at the registration center.
Step 2: Proceed to Your Designated Registration Center
Head to your assigned registration center on the day of your appointment. Visit the PhilSys website to see the list of provinces, cities, and municipalities that are open for online booking appointments. You may also get in touch with your local government unit to see if it has already established a registration center.
Currently, you can also proceed to malls in the Philippines for your National ID registration. SM, Ayala, Robinsons, and Megaworld malls have designated spots where the public can apply for a National ID.
During this stage, your demographic data will be validated and your biometric information will be captured. Make sure to keep your PhilSys transaction slip.
PhilSys National ID Requirements
At the registration center, present your ARN or QR code. Also, make sure to bring the original copy of your supporting documents:
- PSA-issued Birth Certificate and one government-issued identification document that bears your full name, front-facing photograph, and signature or thumbmark.
- Philippine Passport or ePassport
- GSIS or SSS-issued Unified Multi-Purpose Identification Card (UMID)
- LTO Student Permit or Non-Professional/Professional Driver’s License
If you don’t have any of the documents mentioned above, you can bring the original copy of any of the secondary documents below:
- LCRO-issued Certificate of Live Birth
- PSA-issued Report of Birth
- PSA-issued Certificate of Foundling
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Identification Card
- Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
- Seaman’s Book
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
- Senior Citizen’s ID
- SSS ID
- Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) ID
- License to Own or Possess Firearms (LTOPF) ID
- NBI Clearance
- Police Clearance/ID
- Solo Parent’s ID
- PWD ID
- Voter’s ID
- Postal ID
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) ID
- PhilHealth ID
- Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)-issued Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV)
- National ID from other countries
- Residence ID from other countries
The following documents will be accepted as secondary supporting documents as long as they bear a front-facing photograph, full name, permanent address, birthdate, and signature/thumbmark:
- Employee ID
- School ID
- Barangay Clearance/Certificate
- Barangay ID
- City/Municipal ID
Step 3: Wait for the Delivery of Your PhilSys National ID Card
Once your National ID registration is done, all that’s left to do is to wait for your PSN and PhilSys National ID to be delivered to your address. Make sure to present your transaction slip or any valid ID to the courier.
How Do I Register for PhilSys Offline? Quick Steps for Walk-In Registration
Walk-in registration for the National ID is also allowed. Registration booths are strategically located at malls such as Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, SM Malls, and Ayala Malls. If you’re running some errands at one of those malls, you might as well pay the PhilSys booth a visit.
The process is quicker and simpler. Just fill out a form and present any of the supporting documents stated above. Next, get your biometrics captured. However, remember that walk-in registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited slots are also available per day.
PhilSys National ID FAQsPhoto: PSA Philippine Identification System (Facebook)
Applying for a PhilSys National ID is quick and easy. If you still have some questions, here are some other details to take note of:
1. Is the National ID Registration mandatory?
As stated in the law, National ID registration isn't required for everyone. If you refuse to get a Phil ID, you won't be penalized under the Philippine Identification System Act.
But PhilSys strongly recommends you register, as the PhilSys platform will eventually be used for the issuance of government services.
2. Does the PhilSys National ID expire?
The PhilSys National ID has no expiry date. However, newborns (who are automatically issued a PhilSys identification card without fingerprint and iris scan) will be given a new ID card when they turn five to register their complete biometrics.
3. How much is the PhilSys National ID fee?
For Filipino citizens, both the first-time PhilSys National ID application and renewal (replacement of ID card for recapturing or updating biometric info) are free of charge.
Foreigners living in the Philippines will have to pay a standard fee for the initial PhilSys ID application, renewal, or replacement due to a lost or damaged card.
4. How can I track my PhilSys ID?
You may check the status of your PhilSys National ID delivery through the Philippine Postal Corporation website via PHLPost Tracking. To use the PhilSys National ID tracker, follow the steps below:
- Go to tracking.phlpost.gov.ph.
- Enter your transaction number. You can find this on the PhilSys transaction slip provided to you during registration.
- Click Track to check the status of your National ID delivery.
Note: If you don't see any results, this indicates that your National ID is still being processed. Allow a waiting period of around six months for your ID to be delivered.
5. What is causing delays in delivering the National ID?
If you applied for National ID months or even years ago and still haven’t received it, it’s understandable that you’re upset. You’re not alone in this plight. A lot of Filipinos have been complaining about the delay, especially since this document is useful for various transactions.
According to the Commission on Audit (COA), the quantity of produced and delivered Philippine ID cards didn't meet the requirements. This caused the delay in the PhilSys project.
The BSP, one of the agencies primarily involved in the project, blamed the delays on the following: pandemic restrictions, lack of staff to operate card personalization machines, technical problems, and shortage of spare parts.
6. How can I download a digital version of my National ID?
If you haven’t received your National ID yet, you can use the printed ePhilID. The ePhilID is essentially an alternative version of the PhilSys National ID that you can print and use for your transactions.
Note that it’s accepted as valid proof of your identity and age. For instance, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) said that it would accept ePhilIDs as valid documents for passport applications.
The printed ePhilID shows pertinent information such as your full name, sex, date and place of birth, marital status, blood type, and address. It also bears your 1x1 photo and a QR code.
To claim your ePhilID, you need to make an appointment via the PhilSys website. Here are the steps:
- Visit the official PhilSys website.
- Agree to the Privacy Notice. You’ll be directed to a page where you’ll input your 29-digital reference number from your transaction slip.
- Supply the required personal details, such as your name, email address, and contact number.
- After filling out the form, wait for a verification code to be sent to your registered mobile number and email address.
- Select the registration center and the date and time of the appointment.
- Check the appointment slip sent to your email. Print out a copy or take a screenshot of it on your phone. You’ll need to present it on your appointment day.
Note: Printing of ePhilID is available only in select areas. Currently, these include Metro Manila, Pampanga, and Bulacan.
7. Is my data safe with PhilSys?
This is a valid question given that we’re all living in a digital world where data is a desirable asset and a major currency. The PhilSys tells the public that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure information security, cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy.
The PSA is closely collaborating with the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the National Security Council (NSC) regarding the architecture and systems of the PhilSys.
According to PhilSys, the data collected and stored by the system is strictly defined and restricted by the Data Privacy Act and the PhilSys Act. This means the system isn’t supposed to collect data beyond what is needed. It doesn’t collect information on a person’s political or religious affiliation, socio-economic status, educational background, and criminal records, among others.
PhilSys also uses tokenization, which is a process of replacing sensitive data with derivative data. That way, your personal data will be secured.
Registrants can use two types of tokens. First is the PhilID Card Number (PCN), which is printed on the front of your card. Second is the Alyas PSN, which you can generate through the PhilSys portal and mobile app. Either of the two tokens can be provided with a one-time PIN (OTP) or biometric in case of digital authentications or e-KYC transactions.
Lastly, the PSN cannot be stored in the government agencies’ and private sector’s databases. However, these organizations can store particular tokens that will let them establish the uniqueness of registrants or cross-check data with other agencies as long as consent is given or the act is legally authorized.
Filipinos can only hope that the National ID system will remedy or at least simplify the bureaucratic procedures in different transactions in the government and the private sector. Nevertheless, looking at how other countries use their National ID system, it’s safe to say that the PhilSys National ID has so much potential.
We recommend that you follow the PSA Philippine Identification System page on Facebook for updates concerning National ID registration and delivery.
-  Republic Act 11055 (Official Gazette)
-  PSA Aims to Deliver 50M National ID Cards by End-2022 (GMA News, 2022)
-  National ID to be Accepted by Banks as Sole Proof of Identity (BusinessWorld, 2021)
-  National ID should be accepted for all transactions, Duterte says (Business World, February 2022)
-  Executive Order No. 162, s. 2022 (Official Gazette)
-  National ID Registration Centers (PhilSys)
-  PHLPost Tracking (PHLPost)
-  What’s Delaying National ID? (Inquirer, 2022)