MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday said the commission’s field offices will not be used for a national ID registration.
Jimenez made this remark to answer queries if people can apply for a national identification card at the Comelec offices.
“People asking if they can apply for a National ID at Comelec Offices — sadly, No,” he said in a Twitter post.
He also said the Comelec offices do not have enough space to accommodate many people amid the strict implementation of the physical distancing protocol to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Comelec field offices will not be used since #VoterReg is ongoing, and our offices have limited space anyway, not good for physical distancing,” he said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has started the online registration for the national ID last April 30.
It aims to register 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Chua apologized anew for “technical difficulties” that marred the pilot registration via the online portal for national ID registration.
“I have conveyed my sincerest apologies to the Filipino people for the inconvenience at ngayon po kausap namin araw-araw ang mga (and now we are speaking with) international and local experts para matulungan tayo na iimprove yung capacity. Dahil ito ay isang pilot (to help us improve the capacity. Because this is a pilot), we will make sure to learn from our experience,” Chua told Duterte in a pre-recorded meeting with core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Malacañang.
Duterte allayed Chua’s concern, saying he appreciated the effort to push through with the pilot registration despite encountering problems on the online portal.
“This is something which has been the dream of every administrator in government. I congratulate you. Do not worry. You have your precious time to the people. Saludo ako diyan (I salute that),” Duterte replied.
Chua said the website, which is designed to accommodate 16,000 simultaneous users per minute, peaked at 35,000.
He said some 46,000 Filipinos, or three times the normal capacity, wanted to register at the same time in the first minute.
As a result, many were not served as the system experienced slowness and downtime, he added.
He also thanked Filipinos who have registered and are waiting to be registered for the national ID.
In 2018, Duterte signed Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
Economic managers have said the national ID would help hasten the distribution of aid, broaden access to financial services, and streamline the Covid-19 vaccination program. (PNA)