Published: June 5, 2020 | Updated: October 15, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Government Services
The national ID system is in the news again, with calls for fast-tracking its implementation in the Philippines.
Had the PhilSys been implemented sooner, delays in the distribution of government aid during the coronavirus pandemic could have been avoided, according to some senators and even the president.
As the government is seeing the importance of the PhilSys ID, so should you. Registration will open to the public in the last quarter of 2020. Before it starts, it’s good to be informed about what PhilSys is, what you’ll get from it, and how to get a PhilSys identification card.
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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’s established under the Philippine Identification System Act or Republic Act 11055.
The concept behind PhilSys is simple: “It will only answer ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Are you who you really say you are?'” This is according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the national ID system’s chief implementor.
The Philippine Identification Card or the PhilID is a nontransferable identification card that serves as a valid proof of identity for people registered under the PhilSys.
Considered an official government-issued ID in the Philippines, the PhilID is not meant to replace other existing valid IDs used for a purpose 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).
You should register in PhilSys and get a national ID if you’re one of the following:
The PhilID 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 also features a QR code that also contains the cardholder’s PSN and two fingerprint data.
When the PhilSys Act was signed into law in 2018, the main concern was the privacy and security breaches that might arise when sensitive information is collected and stored in a database.
The PSA has assured the public that it would adopt the latest technologies and innovations to ensure the security and privacy of the PhilSys.
All transactions and data recorded under the national ID system are encrypted and digitally signed. Another notable PhilSys security feature is the use of multiple databases that store only specific information from an individual. This will prevent hackers from gaining access to the cardholder’s entire profile.
The PhilID 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.
For Filipino citizens, the first-time PhilID 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 initial PhilID application, renewal, or replacement due to a lost or damaged card.
You might be wary about giving your confidential information to the government. If you refuse to get a PhilID, you won’t be penalized under the Philippine Identification System Act. However, you’ll be missing out on these benefits of having a national ID:
The national ID is accepted in a wide range of transactions in the public and private sectors, including the following:
As of this writing, the PhilSys is still being developed, despite the national ID system being enacted into law almost two years ago.
The government has run its pilot test registration since September 2019 and aimed to open the PhilSys ID registration to the public this 2020.
However, the public health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the government to move the mass registration for the national ID system to October 2020. The PSA hopes to register the majority of Filipinos to PhilSys by the end of 2022.
Anyone who will apply for a PhilID has to register personally at any of the following registration centers in the Philippines:
The PSA may also put up mobile registration centers to make the PhilSys ID application more accessible to applicants.
OFWs and Filipino immigrants can register at the nearest Philippine Embassy, Consular Office, or any DFA-designated registration center in their host country.
For the general public, here’s how to apply for the national ID:
There will be separate guidelines for the PhilSys ID registration of minors (under 18 years old), senior citizens, PWDs, indigenous people, and other groups. If you belong to any of those categories, wait for the PSA’s announcement on your national ID registration procedures.
Mass PhilSys registration has not yet begun, but you can keep yourself updated on the latest developments on the national ID system. Follow the PSA Philippine Identification System Facebook page to see announcements from the PSA on the PhilSys.