Everything You Need to Know About the PhilSys National ID
By: Venus Zoleta
Published on: June 5, 2020 . Last updated: April 21, 2021 Category: 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.
Table of Contents
- What is PhilSys?
- What is a National ID?
- Who is Eligible for a PhilSys ID?
- PhilSys ID Features
- Benefits and Uses of a National ID
- Is the National ID Available Now in the Philippines?
- How to Get a PhilSys ID
- Final Thoughts
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’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.
What is a National ID?
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).
Who is Eligible for a PhilSys 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
PhilSys ID Features
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.
Personal Information Collected Under PhilSys
- 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
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.
PhilSys ID Validity
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.
PhilSys ID Fee
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.
Benefits and Uses of a National ID
Why Should You Get a PhilSys ID?
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:
- Simpler and faster access to government services
- Easier transactions—no need to present other IDs as proof of identity to the government and private institutions
- More efficient distribution of government financial assistance to poor and low-income households
What is the PhilID Used For?
The national ID is accepted in a wide range of transactions in the public and private sectors, 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
Is the National ID Available Now in the Philippines?
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.
How to Get a PhilSys ID
PhilSys National ID Requirements
- Filled out PhilSys application form
- Original copy of any of the following supporting documents:
- PSA-issued birth certificate and one government-issued ID with full name, photo, and signature or thumb mark
- Philippine ePassport
- UMID card issued by the SSS or GSIS
- Other equivalent proof of identity
- For foreign residents: Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) or ACR ID
- For married women adopting their husband’s surname: PSA-issued marriage certificate
- Complete Guide to PSA Online Services in the Philippines
- How to Get Police Clearance Online: A Simple Guide for Filipinos
Where to Apply for PhilSys ID
Anyone who will apply for a PhilID has to register personally at any of the following registration centers in the Philippines:
- PSA regional and provincial offices
- Local civil registry offices (located in your city/municipal hall)
- GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth, and HDMF/Pag-IBIG Fund branches
- Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost)
- Other government agencies assigned by the PSA
- Select LANDBANK branches
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.
PhilSys ID Registration Steps
For the general public, here’s how to apply for the national ID:
- Go to the nearest PhilSys registration center.
- Fill out the PhilSys ID application form.
- Submit the PhilSys ID requirements.
- Have your personal and biometric information captured.
- Review and confirm the encoded details.
- Receive your transaction slip, which you’ll present when claiming your 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.
-  “Duterte: National ID system could have hastened COVID-19 aid rollout” (CNN Philippines, April 14, 2020)
-  Information on PhilSys (PSA website)
-  Republic Act 11055 (Official Gazette)
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.