Samuel P. Medenilla, August 23, 2023: Business Mirror

All digital versions of the Philippine Identification System Cards (PhilSys ID) are expected to be released before the end of the year, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

This after Neda, through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), tapped the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the production of the digital PhilSys ID, also known as the National ID, which will be in the form of a “unique number.”

“We should first make those digital IDs so that anyone who has a phone can already use the digital ID and that is now the primary responsibility of the DICT,” Neda Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a news briefing in Malacañang last Wednesday.

Under the said agreement, the production of the digital ID will now be handled by DICT, while PSA will still do the printing and distribution of the physical version of the National ID.

Last May, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order allowing DICT to produce the digital PhilSys IDs.

“We are more than halfway in the physical ID but I said we want to speed up the digital ID so that hopefully before the end of the year it will be completed [and], everyone will have a digital ID,” Balisacan said.

PSA said it is targeting to print 50 million physical PhilSys ID before the end of the year.

As of August 2, it said over 80 million people have registered to avail of the PhilSys ID.

Balisacan noted no less than President Marcos is closely monitoring the progress in the implementation of the PhilSys due to its expected benefits.

“It’s very important for us that that’s completed because it will reduce transaction cost in government as well in the private sector, it will allow us to save a lot of resources from our ‘ayuda’ [income transfer] because many of the income transfers targeted for the poor do not end up with the poor because there are leakages,” the Neda chief said.

“But with the digital ID the ayuda or transfer income support like the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] food stamp program for example will now be delivered through the digital card with the use of the digital IDs,” he added.