PSA: Nat’l ID mass registration to continue despite lack of funds

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019   •   1001

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the mass registration for the national ID system will continue despite the lack of funds.

According to the PSA, they might not reach the target number of Filipinos that will be registered by next year due to limited funds.

The PSA said the P5.7 billion budget is needed by next year.

Meanwhile, they are still confirming if the allocated budget for the Philippine Identification System (Philsys) is only around P3 billion in the 2020 proposed national budget.

“Kasi pinakita na doon sa mga senators ang magiging effect kapag ito lang ang budget versus kapag binigay ng buo ang budget na hinihingi ng Philsys. So kapag medyo maliit, may delay sa registration (We already showed the senators the possible effect between the limited budget versus the budget requested by Philsys. So if the budget is limited, there will be a delay in the registration) which we do not want to happen,” according to Atty. Lourdines dela Cruz, deputy national statistician of the Philsys Registry Office.

Nevertheless, the PSA assured that they will continue with the program where they target to register over 100 million Filipinos by mid-2020.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

PSA fast tracks implementation of national ID System

Marje Pelayo   •   May 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) is fast-tracking the full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the national ID under Republic Act No. 11055.

This is to improve future targeting and distribution of financial assistance to poor and low-income households, the agency said. 

Part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to PSA is the immediate activation the national ID system.

It is also part of the President’s latest report to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. 

The PSA targets to register around 5 million low-income households by December 2020. 

Meanwhile, the agency plans to kick-start the registration process by October 2020 in all 46 registration centers and 1,170 mobile registration centers nationwide.

It is also coordinating with the Landbank of the Philippines to be able to utilize its 126 branches as additional registration centers for PhilSys.

The President signed the PhilSys Act in August 2018. MNP (with information from Rosalie Coz)

Senate probe sought on delay in nat’l ID system roll out

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three senators on Monday said they are seeking to investigate the status of the implementation of the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) following delays in the distribution of food and financial aids amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

In a press statement, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ramon “Bong” Reville Jr. said they have filed separate resolutions to probe complaints on the distribution of assistance to families affected by the community quarantines caused by COVID-19 due to the delayed full implementation of the National ID program.

“Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, several elective officials are calling for a ‘full-blown’ and immediate implementation of the National ID System as this would not only aid in the efficient distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) currently being implemented by different government agencies but would also help our law enforcement agencies in fighting crimes and facilitate key government services and transactions, among others,” said Sotto and Lacson in their Senate Resolution No. 352.

“Reportedly, implementation of the said social amelioration program has been delayed because of discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries of the national government and the local government units,” Revilla said in his Senate Resolution No. 355.

The law on the national ID system was signed on August 6, 2018 while its implementing rules and regulations were signed and approved 60 days later. 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.”

In their resolution, Sotto and Lacson noted that even before the measure was approved, Congress has already allocated P2 billion for the “National ID System” under the 2018 budget of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The entire budget for the program amounts to P25 billion.

The PSA is the lead implementing agency of the program.

“From 2018 to 2020 General Appropriations Act, a budget of P2 billion has been allotted for the National ID System, totaling to only P6.096 billion budget allocation for three (3) years,” the resolution stated.

However, since its enactment into law, Sotto and Lacson noted that there’s no significant headway on its implementation.

The PSA started the first pilot testing of the program only on the last quarter of 2019, covering a “small number of individuals” from Metro Manila, the senators said.

They added that the executive branch should roll out the National ID System to solve discrepancies in the list of beneficiaries for cash aid, noting that it was President Rodrigo Duterte who has recently acknowledged that the National ID System would have avoided the unnecessary delay in the delivery of emergency subsidy program.

“The national ID system will solve any discrepancies between local government units and database from the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” Sotto said.

Lacson, who sponsored the measure in the Senate, added there is no other time than now when it is most needed.

He also urged the National Economic and Development Authority to expedite the program’s implementation as earlier directed by the president.

“I hope the National Economic and Development Authority can fast-track the implementation of the National ID system, as directed by the President. NEDA should have ample help from the Philippine Statistics Authority as the frontline agency, and the Department of ICT which plays a major role,” he said.

“The first question is, is the system ready to accept registrants? If so, they should give priority to the marginalized sector, and those targeted for financial assistance because of the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

The PSA said the mass registration for the National ID System has been moved from July to October this year in light of the public health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recto fears lack of fund may derail nat’l ID system 2020 implementation

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2019

Senator Ralph Recto (File)

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday expressed fears that the implementation of the national identification system next year might be derailed due to lack of funds.

In a statement, Recto disclosed that no funding has been allocated for the project in the “programmed portion” of the proposed national budget for next year.

“For 2020, there is zero funding for the project in the “programmed portion” of the proposed national budget,” he said.

“What is provided is a P2.4 billion ‘unprogrammed appropriation,’ which, at best, is a tentative allocation dependent if new loans or revenues can be raised,” he added.

Should the P2.4 billion materialize, the senator said only less than half of the total target number of Filipinos or 6.3 million will be registered in the system for 2020.

“But even if the P2.4 billion will materialize, it is only about 42 percent of what is needed to fully meet the project’s objectives and deliverables next year,” Recto said. “So instead of 14 million Filipinos, less than half, or 6.3 million, will be registered in 2020.”

The lawmaker fears this will trigger a domino effect and leave the project’s timetable in shambles.

“The original plan is to enroll 14 million in 2020; 52 million in 2021, including 5 million overseas Filipinos; and 44 million local residents plus 5 million overseas Filipinos in 2022,” he said.

According to Recto, the project’s goal by 2022 is to register 110 million Filipinos and resident aliens, and around 10 million Filipinos abroad in what is officially called the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

“To meet this deadline, 4.3 million registrants must be processed every month by the 5,000 registration kits placed in mobile and fixed registration centers,” he said. “But if the critical purchases in the early stage of implementation will not push through for budget lack, then future registration quotas will not be met.”

Recto recalled that when Congress was pressed to pass the national ID law, it was given assurance that funds were available for its implementation.

“That was two years ago when we passed the law certified as urgent by the Palace. During the debates then, we were told that the plan was to cover 100 million people in 4 years,” he said.

“But it now appears that there’s a wide gap between intent and implementation. The proof has always been in the funding. And in the case of the national ID project, it is wanting,” he added.

The PhilSys Act, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018, seeks to interconnect all government IDs in a single national identification system.

Known as the Phil-ID, it will contain the card holder’s unique PhilSys number, full name as well as facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type, and address. It will also contain the cardholder’s biometric information and iris scan for added security.

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