By Cai Ordinario, March 23, 2021; Business Mirror

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said nearly a quarter of Filipinos have already completed Step 1 of the National ID registration as of March.

In a statement, PSA said 25.7 million have registered in Step 1 of the National ID since the rollout of the program in October 2020.

Since January, a total of 15 million completed Step 1 of the registration across 81 provinces, and all cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“We are optimistic that we will achieve our 2021 target given our pace in reaching the 15 million mark for Step 1 Registration this quarter. We will ramp-up our operations and continue to adjust our strategy in light of the pandemic to ensure the safety of our registrants and registration staff,” PSA Undersecretary Dennis S. Mapa, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, said.

PhilSys Step 1 registrations previously recorded 10.6 million registrants in 32 provinces from 12 October to the end of December 2020, surpassing PSA’s initial goal of 9 million registrants.

In an online ceremonial event for PhilSys, held on 19 March 2021, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced that PhilSys’ target registrations for this year are set to at least 50 million.

Assistant Secretary Rosalinda P. Bautista who is the Deputy National Statistician of the PhilSys Registry Office (PRO) said by next month, Step 1 will become more accessible to millions through an online portal.

“(Through this), our registrants can complete this step at the safety and comfort of their homes. We thank the public for embracing the PhilSys program and we hope that this enthusiasm continues as we open the PhilSys online portal soon. The demand for this online registration is critical in realizing the goals of PhilSys so Filipinos can enjoy its uses and benefits,” Bautista said.

The Step 2 Registration, which involves the validation of supporting documents and capture of biometric information, such as fingerprints, iris scans, and front-facing photographs at registration centers as per the registrants’ appointments, is currently taking place in 32 priority provinces.

PSA intends to ramp up operations for the Step 2 PhilSys Registration on a gradual, small-scale basis. As of February 23, all priority provinces have at least one registration center in operation.

The Step 3 Registration, as the third and final step, is the issuance of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and the physical ID or the PhilID.

The PSN is a randomly generated number and will serve as a permanent identification number for every registrant used for digital transactions.

PSA partnered with PHLPost for the delivery of the PSN and PhilID to successful registrants.