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BSP to subsidize production of blank cards for national ID

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has signed a deal with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to subsidize production of blank cards for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), a national ID scheme which the bank hopes will remove a major hurdle to opening bank accounts.

According to the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed on Monday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the BSP will produce blank cards for the national ID while the PSA will maintain and secure the database of ID owners, safeguarding the confidentiality of their data.

BSP has set aside P3.4 billion to subsidize production of 116 million blank cards for issuance until 2022, equivalent to about P30 per card. The ID will initially be issued free of charge.

Bank rules pose a hurdle to financial inclusion because the current Know-Your-Customer (KYC) set-up, opening a bank account requires two government IDs.

“Now with this national ID, all you need is this to open an account. So that is very helpful for most of our unbanked sectors because as you know, farmers don’t have passports or driver’s licenses,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a news conference following the MoA signing, adding that the national ID is a program “30 years in the making.”

Pilot-testing for the national ID was launched in September. PSA Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa said that the tests will run until May, with the formal rollout of the ID registration by July.




Mr. Mapa said the tests have revealed that registration time is shorter than expected at 15 minutes, though seniors might take longer.

“The expected time to register was shorter in the pilot than what we have been expecting. Right now we are talking about 15 minutes to register [on] average,” Mr. Mapa told reporters.

He added that the target is to issue 14-15 million IDs in 2020, 50 million in 2021, and the remainder needed by 2022.

The national ID is authorized by Republic Act. No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, which establishes a unified identification system for both Filipinos and resident aliens. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

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