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National ID registration hampered by quarantine restrictions

Efficient implementation of the National ID System has been hampered  by local quarantine restrictions such as limited mobility for certain age groups, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA Deputy National Statistician of the PhilSys Registry Office Rosalinda P. Bautista said PSA “lost close to 4,000 foregone registrations” due to local mobility restrictions.

Bautista stressed, “The pandemic is a big challenge for PhilSys registration. It’s not only in vaccination where we experience difficulties. Even our PhilSys registration teams are struggling because of the suspension of operations.”

However, PSA continues to encourage Filipinos to register in the National ID System, added Bautista.

As of September 10, 42 million have completed Step 1 for demographic data capture; 30 million, Step 2 for biometric data capture; and over 1.7 million have received their IDs.

The PhilSys registration has also been able to provide poor and unbanked Filipinos the opportunity to open a bank account when they complete their Step 2 registration through LandBank.

As of September 10, Bautista said, over 5 million Filipinos have already opened new LandBank accounts during their National ID Step 2 registration.

By the end of the year, Bautista said the government aims to register 70 million Filipinos under Step 1 and 50 million under Step 2.

“[Our] registration teams are working tirelessly in areas where they are allowed to conduct the registration. We are also engaging with our youth sector, professionals to [register and help seniors register], especially the online [Step 1 registration and make it] a family event,” Bautista said.

Apart from the pandemic, another challenge is the excitement of those who have received their National IDs and post photos of their IDs online or through social media.

Bautista warned if this continues, the IDs of these individuals can be used for fraud. This is the reason for PSA’s efforts to catch the attention of these Filipinos.

Preventing this from happening can also help the PSA improve the acceptance of the IDs by various establishments as a proof of identity.

Bautista said some establishments refuse to accept the National IDs of over 1.7 million as proof of their identities.

“The ID being a new one and the ID not having a signature, these are our challenges. But we will not give up. We are advocating for its acceptance,” Bautista said.

She said the Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and PhilPost have issued memoranda to honor the National ID as proof of identity.

The PSA official also said they are working with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to encourage financial institutions to honor the National ID in their establishments.

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