PILAR, Bataan – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) provincial office here on Thursday said two of its 12 centers doing registration for the national identification or Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) were temporarily closed due to the threat of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
PSA-Bataan statistical specialist Richard Guevarra said registration hubs in Bagac town and Balanga City were shut down while the rest of the centers in 10 towns are in full operation and strictly implementing safety protocols against Covid-19.
Guevarra said Step 2 registration in Bagac was temporarily stopped upon the request of municipal Mayor Ramil del Rosario due to a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the mountain town.
He clarified that no one from the center was infected but the mayor wanted to avoid the gathering of people.
“Once mag-zero ang Covid-19 cases sa Bagac, bubuksan muli ang registration center doon (Once Bagac registers zero Covid-19 cases, the registration center there will be reopened),” Guevarra said.
The Bagac PhilSys registration center is located at the mezzanine floor of the municipal hall.
In the case of Balanga City, Guevarra said, PhilSys is only waiting for some workers to complete their 14-day quarantine and will reopen the center on April 29 to resume the Step 2 registration.
Guevarra said the center’s personnel who were reported to have been exposed to a Covid-19 positive case, were already tested negative of the virus but in accordance with protocols, they have to complete 14 days of quarantine.
To compensate for the time lost in the closed centers, Guevarra said PSA-Bataan chief Francisco Corpus directed the transfer of registration kits and equipment to other municipalities.
He said that Step 1 registration undertaken in Bataan from October to December 2020 had 125,000 applicants who they expect to be listed under Step 2 until next month.
Guevarra said as of Wednesday, there were 89,000 people or about 70 percent who have finished registering for Step 2.
The Step 1 process involved the collection of demographic information of the registrants while Step 2 covers capture of biometric information such as fingerprints, iris scan and photograph. Step 3 will involve the distribution of the national IDs.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity and will be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.
It will also boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. (PNA)