The government is looking to allow online registration for the national ID within the second quarter, amid tighter restriction measures as the number of coronavirus infections continue to surge.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) in an online ceremony said they are looking to allow online registration for demographic information.
Currently, this process is done on ground via house-to-house data collection of Filipinos from low-income families. Last year, the government decided to focus on 32 provinces and cities with low active coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The Philippine ID system (PhilSys) was authorized under Republic Act No. 1105 that was signed into law in August 2018.
“As we pursue this long-overdue project, I ask every Filipino to give PhilSys a chance so we may maximize the advantages of a universal and secure database that will make transactions more efficient, and our lives more convenient,” President Rodrigo R. Duterte said in a pre-recorded statement during the event.
Around 10.2 million Filipinos as of December 2020 have finished the first step, where they provide basic information such as name, birthday, and address. This process was continued in January, expanding to other areas including Metro Manila and other provinces.
The PCOO said they expect Filipinos to complete the second step, which includes biometrics, by the fourth quarter.
By end-2022, 90 million are expected to have completed the process, including both Filipinos at home and overseas.
The national ID is expected to help improve the country’s financial inclusion, as central bank data showed only 29% of Filipino adults have a formal bank account as of 2019. In turn, such formal accounts could ease disbursement of government subsidies for low income families.
The lack of documentary requirements for banks’ know-your-customer process has been among the hindrance to Filipinos joining the formal financial system.