The Covid-19 pandemic has tremendously slowed down the progress of the Philippine Identification System (Philsys) registration program and seemingly Filipinos have lost their enthusiasm for it until recently when they saw a photo of Presudent Duterte registering with it.
The photo, on social media, reportedly encouraged many Filipinos who expressed their enthusiasm and desire to sign up for the national ID program, and fkooded the offices of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) with quiries on when they could also register.
The PSA in the agency in charge of the program. The flood of inquiries prompted it to clarify that it has prioritized low-income households, and registration for the general public will shortly be announced.
In its website, PSA said it will shortly announce the registration schedule for the general public this year. ”Due announcements will be made by the PSA for the registration of the general public this year, as low-income households have been prioritized since the beginning of PhilSys registration last year,” it said.
PSA, meanwhile, also clarified that the national ID “will not replace existing functional IDs that serve other purposes,” like a passport that is a foreign travel document and a driver’s license which is proof that someone can drive.
PhilSys aims to register majority of Filipinos by end of 2022 and assures registration of the general public starting this year, but “functional IDs like passports and driver’s licenses will remain the responsibility of the issuing government agencies,” PSA said.
Signed into law by President Duterte in August 2018, the Philippine Identification System Act (RA 11055) aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
The national ID will be deemed as a valid proof of identity will simplify public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, opening of bank accounts and will boost efficiency in dealing with government services transactions where one needs to present only one ID.
For Filipino citizens, the National ID has no expiry date. For resident aliens, however, it will be valid for only for one year. Its initial acquisition will be free but an eligible fee will be charged for replacement of lost or damaged ID.
Indigents are exempt from any fee or payment provided they show their Certificate of Indigency.