SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian alerted the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) at the weekend to remind banks they could be penalized for refusing to recognize the National ID.
The senator cited Republic Act (RA) 11055 (Philippine Identification System Act), which compels banks to accept the National ID as “sufficient proof of identity for financial transactions” and any bank that refuses to recognize it will be fined P500,000.
Gatchalian issued the call amid continuing complaints some banks refuse to recognize the National ID as proof of identity as the card doesn’t display the person’s signature.
“This is not the intention of the law,” the senator said, stressing that the National ID system is “meant to simplify public and private transactions.”
Gatchalian prodded the BSP to “immediately look into this issue and ensure that all financial institutions, especially the Land Bank [of the Philippines] and Development Bank of the Philippines, adhere to the law.”
Moreover, Gatchalian invoked the BSP Memorandum M-2021-057 stating that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), one of the implementers of the law, has clarified that the non-inclusion of a handwritten signature as part of the Philippine identification (PhilID) was deliberate and aligns with other national ID systems such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.
The lawmaker added the law also intends to promote greater security in transactions through stronger methods of verification and lower risk of forgery.
At the same time, Gatchalian pointed out that the same memo specifies that the Philippine Identification System allows both offline and online means of authenticating one’s identity in accordance with Section 5 of RA 11055 and Section 12 of its revised implementing rules and regulations. Identity authentication is made through the PhilID physical security features, QR code digital verification, biometric verification and SMS one-time password.
He also notes banks would normally require two or more IDs and other documentary requirements when opening a bank account. However, those with only one valid ID, usually from the low-income sector, are rejected, the senator added.
“There shouldn’t be a need for another valid ID if the individual concerned only has the National ID,” Gatchalian asserted, stressing that the National ID “should be considered as an official, reliable and sufficient proof of identity.”
In addition, the senator encouraged the public to report to BSP any bank that refuses to accept their national IDs in their transactions.