By Angelica Ballesteros, August 28 2019; Daily Tribune

Image Credit to Business Mirror

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is set to commence the pilot testing of the much-awaited National ID system by next week.

“We are going to start doing the pilot test 2 September,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said at the sidelines of the 3rd Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.

Initially, the government will commence with 10,000 printed ID and once successful, printing will be ramped up by 50 million in 2020, and by another 50 million by 2021.

“By the end of the administration, we would have covered virtually all Filipinos including OFW (overseas Filipino workers),” Pernia said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the central bank has volunteered to print the ID so as to speed up the process through a “government-to-government” deal so as to avoid delays, while the Philippine Statistics Authority will be in charge of the information contained in the ID.

Biometric information will also be collected and the system is expected to speed up and improve the delivery of government services and also reduce fraud.

The submission follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing the Philippine National Identification System Act into law in August last year. The law calls for the creation of the Philippine ID System, a central database containing information such as the name, sex, birth date, birthplace and addresses of citizens and resident aliens.