As the government continues its rollout of the National ID, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), kicked off its institutional registration of the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys for DILG officials and employees at the Department’s Central Office in Quezon City.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año expressed his gratitude to the PSA for having the DILG as the pilot Department in the executive branch of the government for the on-site registration for the PhilSys. “As one of the key proponents of the PhilSys, we thank the PSA for choosing the DILG as the pilot agency for on-site registration for the PhilID. We assure the PSA of our continuous support in rolling out the PhilSys to local government units and the public,” said Año during the first day of the PhilSys registration in the Department.
On Day 1 of the on-site registration, 89 DILG top officials, employees, and their family members registered for PhilSys. Among the DILG senior officials who registered for the PhilID on Day 1 aside from the DILG Secretary are Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, Undersecretary Martin Diño, and Undersecretary Marjorie Jalosjos.
Over 1,000 DILG personnel, including those on contract of service, are expected to register to the PhilSys on their assigned dates until July 5, 2021.
During Day 1 of the onsite registration, Año said that for more than three decades, the Philippine government had repeatedly attempted to establish a national ID system, with previous efforts for its implementation falling through due to budget issues, legal troubles, and poor public support.
“It is only in 2018, with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s strong political will, that the landmark Philippine Identification Act was enacted into law,” he said.
He expressed confidence that PhilSys will enable the country to accelerate its transition into a “digital economy” and it would not just enhance governance but also reduce corruption.
Signed on August 6, 2018, Republic Act (RA) No. 11055 or the “Philippine Identification System Act” aims to promote seamless delivery of service, improve the efficiency, transparency, and targeted delivery of public and social services, and reduce corruption and curtail bureaucratic red tape to avert fraudulent transactions, and misrepresentations.
Three steps are being done during the registration. First, the prospective cardholder fills out the PhilID form; second, a PSA staff verifies the information in the form through a valid government ID brought by the PhilID applicant; and third is the inputting of biometrics data in the PSA’s database.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Malaya said that the implementation of a national ID system had been a long time coming.
“Naalala ko po na noong ako’y nag-aaral sa kolehiyo, pinag-uusapan na po ang national ID system. I would consider this one of the significant accomplishments of the Duterte administration,” he said.
The DILG Spox also lauded Año for his strong commitment to the adoption and implementation of PhilSys. He mentioned that when the PSA experienced difficulty with signing Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) with various local government units (LGUs), the DILG Secretary immediately released a memo urging LGUs and local chief executives (LCEs) to recognize PhilID Cards as the official proof of identity for transactions with government and private entities in accordance to RA 11055.
Also, in a recent memo issued by Secretary Año on June 10, 2021, he reminded LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the provision of RA 11055, specifically Section 19, that any person or entity who without just and sufficient cause, refuse to accept, acknowledge, and/or recognize the Phil ID or PhilSys Number (PSN), shall be meted a fine worth P500,000. In addition, if the act was committed by a government official or employee, the penalty shall include perpetual absolute disqualification from holding any public office or employment in the government.
The memo also stated that the PSA, as the primary implementing agency of RA 11055, had previously issued an advisory dated May 19, 2021, reminding all concerned government agencies, the private sector, and the general public that the PhilID shall be the official proof of identity of the cardholder in dealing with all national government agencies, LGUs, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), state universities (SUCs), and all private sector entities.