Delivery of first batch of national IDs underway — PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021   •   74

MANILA, Philippines — The delivery of the first batch of Philippine Identification (PhilID) cards has begun, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The PSA said the ID cards, which were printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), were picked up by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) on May 1.

PHLPost, the official delivery partner of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), will distribute the IDs this week to Filipinos who have completed the first and second steps in registering for PhilSys.

The PSA said a total of 956 PhilIDs packaged in a regular-sized envelope will be delivered nationwide, including Metro Manila, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, Cavite, Iloilo, Bacolod, Albay, Bohol, Masbate, Capiz, Negros Oriental, Cebu, and Davao, among others.

“We are pleased to have commenced this major milestone in the implementation of the PhilSys. This exercise showed us what can be improved in our card production and personalization machines and processes,” PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said in a statement.

“Our next step is to ensure that the machines are running in good condition for us to determine the volume of the next batch of PhilIDs to be produced, personalized, and delivered,” he added.

The first step in the registration process involves gathering of demographic information such as name, gender, birthplace and birth date, blood type, address, citizenship, marital status, cellphone number, and email address – from the targeted registrants.

Step 2 entails the capture the biometric information such as iris scan, fingerprints, and photograph at the PhilSys registration centers.

The third step is the issuance of PhilSys number and the distribution of the physical ID.

The PSA earlier said it targets to register 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year, and nearly the entire population by 2022.

The national ID system is being implemented pursuant to the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018.

The measure seeks to establish a single national identification system for all citizens and resident aliens of the country.

It also aims to “promote seamless delivery of service, to improve the efficiency, transparency, and targeted delivery of public and social services, to enhance administrative governance, to reduce corruption and curtail bureaucratic red tape, to avert fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations, to strengthen financial inclusion, and to promote ease of doing business.”

PH unemployment rate drops to 7.1% in March, PSA says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The unemployment rate in the country fell to 7.1 percent in March 2021, a survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Thursday.

Based on the latest Labor Force Survey, the PSA said the unemployment rate registered in the third month of the year is equivalent to 3.44 million Filipinos aged 15 and above.

This is lower than the 8.8 percent or 4.19 million unemployed persons in February, and 8.7 percent or 3.95 million in January.

“This is the lowest reported rate covering the period of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since April 2020,” the agency noted in a statement.

The PSA also reported that the labor force participation rate bounced back to 65.0 percent or a total of 48.77 million in March 2021.

The employment rate rose to 92.9 percent in March 2021, from 91.2 percent in February 2021.

“This translates to a month-on-month increase of about 2.18 million Filipinos who had job or business, from 43.15 million in February 2021 to 45.33 million Filipinos in March 2021,” the PSA said.

VP Robredo registers to Philippine Identification System – PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has completed the second step in the registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

In a statement, the PSA said Robedo completed the registration process on Monday morning in Magarao, Camarines Sur which is one of the select municipalities in the two priority provinces for PhilSys registration.

Robredo finished the second step in about 12 minutes without technical difficulties after queuing with other local registrants, the agency said.

The step 2 registration involves the capture of the registrant’s biometric data such as their fingerprints, iris scans, and front-facing photograph.

Step 2 Registration began in January 2021 and continues to roll out on a gradual, small-scale basis in the priority provinces.

As of April 30, 2021, the PSA said that a total of 6,378,695 registrants have completed the Step 2 Registration. These individuals underwent the assisted Step 1 Registration or the house-to-house collection of demographic data, and setting of appointment for Step 2.

The PhilSys portal for pilot online Step 1 Registration was launched last April 30, 2021 but it encountered technical difficulties.

The final step of PhilSys registration will involve the issuance of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card.

“The PSN is a randomly generated number and will serve as a permanent identification number for every registrant used for digital transactions,” the PSA said.

The PSA earlier reported that the delivery of the first batch of national identification cards of those who successfully registered in the system is underway.

PH posted steady inflation rate at 4.5% in April — PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s headline inflation stayed at 4.5 percent in April due to slower movements in the prices of commodities, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Wednesday.

PSA chief and national statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said last month’s figure is the same annual growth rate recorded in March but quicker than 2.2 percent registered in April 2020.

Mapa said the figure brought the average inflation at the national level from January to April 2021 to 4.5 percent, still within the forecast range of 4.2 to 5.0 percent of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

“The latest outturn is consistent with expectations that inflation would remain elevated this year, owing to supply-side pressures, before settling close to the midpoint of the target range in 2022,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

The PSA said that varied annual growth rates in the indices of the commodity groups were observed in April 2021.

Annual increases were higher in the indices of the following commodity groups in April 2021:
• Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels with 1.5 percent
• Furnishing, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house with 2.1 percent
• Health with 3.1 percent
• Transport with 17.9 percent
• Communication, 0.3 percent
• Restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.4 percent

On the other hand, inflation slowed down in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 4.8 percent; and alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 12.0 percent, the PSA said.

The rest of the commodity groups retained their respective previous month’s annual growth rates, it added.

The PSA also said that annual rates went down in the indices of rice and vegetables at -0.3 percent and -2.6 percent, respectively.

Moreover, annual hikes slowed down in the indices of other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products at 1.8 percent; milk, cheese, and egg, 1.4 percent; fruits, 0.3 percent; and food products not elsewhere classified, 0.5 percent.

However, annual rates picked up further in the indices of corn at 3.1 percent; meat, 22.1 percent; and fish, 6.0 percent.

The indices of oils and fats; and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionery moved at their corresponding previous month’s annual growth rates of 3.9 percent and 0.3 percent, the PSA added.

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