MANILA – The government expects around 50 million Filipinos to be included in the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) by the end of the year, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Karl Kendrick Chua said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a budget hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee A under Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Chua said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has set a goal of registering an additional 22 million Filipinos and five million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the PhilSys by next year.
“Our target is 50 million by the end of the year, we are confident we can achieve that despite the challenges of the pandemic,” said Chua.
The agency will also release 37 million PhilID cards next year, Chua said.
As of October 8, Chua said the PSA has already registered 43.2 million and 35.9 million individuals for Step 1 and Step 2 of PhilSys registration and signed up 5.6 million bank account registrants, which include unbanked low-income individuals.
“My target for the end of the year is 100 percent financial inclusion at the family level, which means we have to open about 8 million bank accounts,” he added.
Step 1 refers to the capture of “demographics” while Step 2 refers to the capture of “biometrics”.
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 that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrolment 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 the PhilID during transactions.
The PSA also plans to implement the rollout of the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to cover 5th and 6th class cities and municipalities. The agency conducted a pilot implementation of CBMS in nine local government units this year.
Chua said the agency will likewise conduct the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey, which is expected to play a crucial role in the government’s health programs.
The PSA will also conduct pilot surveys in preparation for the Census of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF) which is done every 10 years. (PNA)