THE Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys) is expected to lead to the expansion of bank lending by enabling faster processing of loan applications, a bank official said.

Philippine National Bank (PNB) President and CEO Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso said the Philippine ID (PhilID) will help the banks establish a reliable credit scoring system which will speed up loan decisions.

Kapag nagkaroon ng ID national system, isipin mo ‘yung 65% unbanked. (With a national ID system, we can more easily serve the 65% of Filipinos who are unbanked) If I have an idea that this vendor is a good borrower, wala lang syang ID, may national ID lang sya (even if all he has is a national ID), now I’ll be able to help him” with a business proposition which the bank can finance, Mr. Veloso told reporters in a briefing Tuesday night.

The national ID system is due to be launched in a September test run involving priority segments of the population. By 2022, the government hopes to register 107 million Filipinos.

PhilSys or Republic Act 11055 was signed into law in August 2018, requiring the government to establish a single national identification system for all citizens and residents, as a means of improving financial inclusion and raise the efficiency of government service delivery.

“The moment na lumabas yang national ID system, dapat nakaprepare na tayo dito (We should be prepared the moment the national ID becomes available),” he added.

Mr. Veloso also expects mobile internet costs to drop, which will allow the banking industry to reach clients without having to build branches.

“In three years time, the cost of data will be so cheap that (online business might overtake that of) bricks and mortar operations,” he said.

The law provides for the initial issuance of the national ID to be free of charge. — Beatrice M. Laforga