Rep. Duterte presses PSA and BSP to hasten implementation of PhilSys

Philsys ID processing

A lawmaker on Thursday called on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to accelerate the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project to hasten the delivery of basic services and financial aid to poor families, while helping the government weed out “false” beneficiaries from social protection programs.

Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Duterte said the PhilSys or National ID System will also complement the e-governance bill refiled in the incoming 19th Congress that seeks to shift government transactions online.

“We urge the BSP and PSA to come up with a good catch-up plan to speed up the implementation of this vital project,” Duterte said.

“Accelerating the implementation of the national ID system will make the delivery of financial assistance swift and efficient. Aside from that, a well-maintained National ID system will help the government clean up its database of beneficiaries of social protection programs, such as the 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program].  Even those who dupe the system by getting senior citizen ID cards even though they are not yet qualified to avail of the benefits for seniors will be weeded out,” Duterte said.

He recalled that under the administration of his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, substantial funding releases were approved to fast track the implementation of PhilSys.

However, a 2021 report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed that the BSP and its contractor tasked to deliver the physical PhilSys cards were unable to meet their production targets, causing delays in the project.

The PSA is the chief implementer of the PhilSys project, while the BSP is in charge of producing the physical ID cards, which will then be turned over to the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) for delivery.

Duterte issued the call following complaints over the delays in the production and distribution of the physical PhilSys cards, with many already waiting for more than six months to have these delivered.

According to reports, the PSA has already registered 74 percent or 68.3 million national ID applicants out of its 92 million target as of June 30. Out of this number, only 13.86 million physical cards have been delivered.

Duterte said a PSA plan to issue printable versions of the national ID with a corresponding mobile ID that can be accessed through the PhilSys app could be a step further in fast-tracking the full implementation of the project.

He, however, said that the PSA should continue printing the physical ID cards, considering that under the 2022 national budget, P4.84 billion has been appropriated for the PhilSys project.

Under the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the PSA “shall set a timetable to fully establish and implement the system, which shall not be later than December 31, 2024.”

Former President Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11055 or the Philsys Act in August 2018. In February 2022, he issued Executive Order (EO) No. 162 mandating the use of the Philippine Identification  (PhilID) card in its printed or electronic form as sufficient proof of identity and age in all government and private transactions.

The EO states that the PhilID and its corresponding Philsys Number (PSN) shall be honored in all transactions that require proof of identity without the need to present other identification documents, “unless otherwise provided by law.”

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