MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the additional P3.52 billion budget for the Philippine Identification System.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the government aims to register 20 million more Filipinos on top of the initial target of 50 million.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with the members of his Cabinet, approved the P3.52-B additional budget for 2021 to register 20 million more individuals (on top of the 50 million target) to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) by the end of 2021,” Roque said.
According to Socioeconomic Planning Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, 8.7 million already completed Step 1 of the National ID registration. He said 10 million will be able to complete the first step by the end of the year.
“The first benefit of the national ID is you will have an ID to open a bank account to be financially included. And we are hoping by next year, all 20 million low-income families will have a bank account. That will be a major accomplishment,” he said.
Meanwhile, PhilSys will begin Step 2 of the registration in 2021 where validation of supporting documents and biometric information process will begin at the registration center. — AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee on Wednesday approved the final version of the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, which is seen to drive the country’s pandemic and calamity response and recovery efforts.
The spending bill includes a P72.5 billion allocation for the purchase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
Of this allotment, P2.5 billion is allocated for the vaccines under the programmed funds of the Department of Health (DOH) while the P70 billion is placed under the unprogrammed appropriations, dependent on the availability of actual government funds.
Senator Sonny Angara, chairperson of Senate committee on finance and head of the upper chamber’s contingent in the bicameral conference, said that although much of the vaccines for budget was unprogrammed, the Department of Finance gave assurance it will be funded depending on the availability of government revenues.
“Ang akala kasi ng iba, ‘pag unprogrammed, hindi siya mapo-pondohan. It’s not true. But the probability of it being funded is large. We’re assured by the DOF na mapopondohan talaga ‘yun,” he said.
Aside from the allotment of P72.5 billion in the spending bill, Angara said the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) also provides P10 billion for COVID-19 vaccines.
The Bayanihan 2 is set to lapse on December 19 so lawmakers are moving to extend its validity until March or June 2021.
Both chambers of Congress are also planning to extend the validity of the 2020 General Appropriations Act until June or December 2021 for the implementation of programs and projects funded under the measure that was delayed due to the pandemic.
The budget bill also set aside funds for infrastructure projects for projects ravaged by recent typhoons.
The approved version of the budget also retained the P19-billion funding of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Lawmakers are eyeing to submit the 2021 budget bill to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing before December 25.
The bicam version of the budget bill has to be ratified first by both the Senate and the House before it can be submitted to the Office of President. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday said its ready to produce the cards for the national identification system.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno issued the statement as the central bank printed samples of the ID card and showed a glimpse of it in an image he posted on his Twitter account.
“Finally, the BSP is ready to print the #NationalID. We inspected the machines that will print the IDs this morning. The machines have the capacity to print 154,000 cards per day,” Diokno said in his tweet.
The central bank has been tasked to print the ID cards. It signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Statistics Authority to produce blank cards for IDs under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
Under the agreement, the BSP shall produce 116 million cards over a period of three years. The cards, which are non-transferable, will be issued to all Philippine citizens and for resident aliens registered under the PhilSys.
The printing of the ID cards will cost a total of P3.4 billion out of the total cost of P30 billion of the PhilSys project.
The card will become the official proof of identity for each Filipino and is seen to eliminate the need for providing two government IDs when transacting with companies or financial institutions.
It will contain the PhilSys number of each person, his or her name, facial image, sex, address, date of birth, and blood type. It will also contain information such as fingerprints.
“The national ID system has been decades in the making. We look forward to bringing it to the Filipino people to promote financial inclusion and digitalization,” Diokno said.
The PSA has already started the process of registration for the first 9 million low-income households in 32 provinces.
The registration for residents in Metro Manila and other areas will start next year.
The PSA earlier said the registration is voluntary but they would recommend for Filipinos to go through the process as the national ID can help expedite the delivery of government services and assistance to poor families.
The PSA is looking to complete the registration and issue the national ID before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
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