In May 2018, the Senate and Congress ratified a bill after many corrections, which require every Philippine citizen and alien living in the country to register for a national identification card.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte sign Can I Apply Online or Walk ined the Bill into law in June of 2018. This now means all Filipinos will need to register for the new national ID card.
The system is all-inclusive and age limits and special circumstances do not apply to anyone.
National ID has been talked about for many years and has been a controversial subject to say the very least. There are always concerns about imposing national ID, such as privacy issues and what could be the real motives behind the national ID card.
I think this controversy will carry on for many years to come and the government will find some resistance from the population who will now be required to register and carry an ID card at all times.
In this review, I will discuss many topics that I hope will allow you to get your national ID card PhilID or PhilSys Number (PSN) without too much hassle.
Unfortunately, some information is not available to give due to the fact the President only signed the bill in to law this month.
The national ID card rollout will be an enormous undertaking by the government and I recommend you keep current with developments by checking with local government or look for updates on the internet frequently.
I want to point out in the introduction that the information today is everyone residing in the Philippines needs to register within one year of the signing of the new law. You have until June 6, 2019 to register.
What is PhilSys?
The PhilSys is the government’s central identification platform for all citizens an resident aliens of the Philippines.
What is National ID System Law
This is where the new Philippine ID becomes complex. You will be required to register for the national Philippine ID card and the government like your address, date of birth, contact details, blood type and more, will store data about you.
You will undergo an iris scan for ultimate identification and the government in the guise of supplying the cardholder with better government services does all this. How this will work out is beyond comprehension.
Allegedly, your new Philippine ID card will be sufficient for you to avail services from government agencies like PhilHealth, GSIS etc.
However, why does the government need your fingerprints and iris scan for you to avail these services? Will it prevent corruption as claimed? Whom is your ID protecting? You or the government official? It all sound suspicious to me. Read more about IRR of the RA 11055 or PhilSys Law.
Who is the Author of National ID?
Senator Panfilo Lacson is the principle author of the new Philippine national ID. He states that the ID card will help the poorest of the poor avail government services that was not previously accessible.
In essence, the estimated 16.3 million Filipinos who do not have any form of identification will now only need one form of ID to access government services. All information about you will now be held on a computerized database.
The Philippine Statistics Authority will be responsible for the new Philippine national ID card known as PhilID.
The card will have unique security features similar to bank notes and passports it should be almost impossible to reproduce fake cards for fraudulent purposes.
The PhilSys ID card utilizes different types of line printing and duplicate imagery along with over lapping fractal lines.
These are security features being used across the world for similar cards and are found to be the current state of the art in fraud prevention.
The new card will carry your face image, fingerprints and an iris scan. In addition to this, the card has laser engraving rainbow printing and holograms and not everything an unscrupulous forger would want to come across when looking to copy the card.
The card will also contain personal information like your date of birth, marital status and home address.
I think it is safe to say now you card will be secure and only government agencies will be able to access the information contained on the card.
If you get an opportunity, you can check the proposed look of the new national ID card online.
Ayala and Aboitiz groups submitted to the government an unsolicited proposal for the design and development of the national identification (ID) system.
How was the national ID approved?
The debate about a national ID system has been around for decades and has remained controversial and I suspect even though the national ID card has now been signed into law the controversy will persist long into the future.
For younger readers this is not the first time the Philippines have had a national ID system. The president Ramos administration implemented a national ID during his term but the Supreme Court invalidated the law due to the perception of civil rights being infringed.
However, under the Duterte administration the Senate and Congress have pushed through the national Philippine ID on the premise of helping the millions of marginalized Filipino citizens.
It is claimed that from a population of 104 million 16.5 million do not have access to basic financial assistance from the government due to a lack of personal ID the new national ID card will make it easy to track down these people.
These 16.5 million marginalized citizens galvanized the senate and congress to pass a law then signed by the president to impose an ID system for every resident of the country.
List of Countries with electronic ID cards for secure identification
Below is a list of countries using national ID cards similar to the proposed Phil ID?
China is probably the most advanced when it comes to monitoring there citizens. The Chinese government is developing a facial recognition system whereby the government will be able to identify the person every time he or she passes a surveillance camera.
The China ID will be eventually available on a smart phone.
The Malaysian Mycard is the first multipurpose national ID to be issued in the world it can be used for both government and private sector transactions.
The Thai national ID is mainly used to access health services and is used by less than 50% of the population.
The Singapore government is in the middle of developing its national ID card and it should be in service in 2020. The card will allow you access government service such as paying tax bills and parking fines.
Is the world’s most advanced national ID card and is compulsory for all citizens to register for the card. You are able to access all government e-systems with this card.
The Peruvian ID card is used the same as all other to access government services and has almost the whole population registered. Unlike other ID system, the Peruvian model requires citizens to renew their ID every 8 years.
The Pakistan ID card has some real value, it is based on facial recognition technology and uniquely it can be used at 100 international airports replacing the Pakistan passport.
This one is interesting India does not issue a national ID card. The Indian government gives the citizen a personal identification number that is used to access government systems.
There are many more countries across the globe using national ID cards and many works with great success.
However, there are countries, which are mainly sub African countries where national ID cards have been disastrous for the population.
How to Apply National ID
Now the information is sketchy on where to apply for the PhilID card, however the Philippine National Statistics office is handling the data and overseeing the implementation of the national ID card so in the first instance I would advise you to check Philippine Statics Authority (PSA) for further information.
Issuing the national ID card will not happen overnight so for those of you in a hurry to avail the ID card check online for updates. However, once you have applied it is planned you will be able to check the ID card status online.
For Filipino citizens living in the provinces check with your Barangay captain for updates of where to apply.
For foreign nationals living in the Philippines I suspect the new national ID card or PhilID will make you ACR/Icard obsolete so please check with your local Bureau of Immigration before your Icard expires.
Once the government starts accepting application, I would advise you proceed without haste.
Where to get national ID card Philippines
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall be the primary implementing agency to carry out the provisions of the PhilSys Act. Overall planning, management and administration of the PhilSys shall be the responsibility of the PSA.
In my experience if you are early, you can visit the office and get the information easily.
Alternatively keep checking online for updates. It is early days and as previously said the PhilID will not be rolled out overnight. When you do apply, you will be issued a PhilSys ID to monitor your application.
Can I Apply Online or Walk in
Again the problem is information is sketchy but due to the fingerprints and iris scan you will almost certainly need to visit the office with your required documents for photograph, fingerprints and scan to be completed.
Check online on the affiliated website for information and procedures before heading off and finding the implementation did not start yet.
A step by step procedure to apply national ID
One (1) year after the effectivity of the PhilSys Act, every citizen or resident alien shall register personaly to goverment registration centers.
I would recommend that all citizens wanting to register for the new national identification card keep a close watch on the PSA for updates.
This large-scale implementation project will take months to come to fruition.
Once you have established which office you should attend to apply for national identification card you will then need to submit the required documents certainly containing the following. Be sure to have the correct current documents with you for fast processing.
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license
- CENOMAR if applicable
- Driving license if applicable
Here is the irony of the Philippine national identification card. The PhilID is purportedly aimed at 16.5 million poorest of the poor. These citizens undoubtedly do not have any of the requirements to apply for the national ID, which would allegedly allow access the basic financial assistance from the government when on the database.
The Benefits Of National ID System In The Philippines
Let us look at the benefits and disadvantages of having a national ID card.
Well the first benefits is that all of your information is now stored under one roof (or computer file), this should speed up any transaction you make when dealing with the government bodies such as pensions. All of your data is stored on the chip in your card no need to worry about a thing.
Many of us require police clearances as part of employer policies the national ID will help you meet the requirements of the applications and with the national ID, this should be a simple straightforward process.
When dealing with the BIR the new methods will come into play and long queues should dissipate when the national ID is fully implemented, paying your taxes will have never been so easy.
Need a new passport from the DFA, the national ID card will remove the vast amount of their background checks and will make passport issuance a quick and easy process.
When applying to colleges or universities all of your information is at your fingertips making life easy and allowing you to concentrate on what is important. Your smart card national ID is all you need to make application processing straightforward.
The new national ID card is said to bring inclusion to all backgrounds, give a feeling of togetherness, and provide a better future.
We can all avail better government’s services by utilizing technology and computerizing our information.
Money laundering scams should be outdated with the new national ID system bill ratified and signed off by the president.
Any inter government transaction will now become easy, as documents will be completed online as we head towards a paperless society.
It all sounds ideal really. I cannot think why we didn’t do it before!
What are the uses of the PhilSys
- Promote seamless delivery of service
- Improve the efficiency
- Enhance administrative governance
- Reduce corruption
- Curtail bureaucratic red tape
- Avert fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations
- Strengthen financial inclusion
- Promote ease of doing business
- Applying for social welfare and benefits
- Applying for services offered by the GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig, and other government agencies
- Applying for passport and driver’s licenses
- Tax-related transactions
- Registration and voting identification purposes
- Applying for schools, colleges, universities, and other learning institutions
- Applying for employment and other related transactions
- Opening bank accounts and other transactions with banks and financial institutions
- Verifying criminal records and clearances
- Other transactions defined in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR)
Easier to Get a Senior Citizen Discount
Senior citizens will benefit a lot from the national ID system, according to Atty. Romulo Macalintal in his opinion piece on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
This will resolve the confusion about the kind of ID that the elderly can present to avail of a senior citizen discount.
Even if the senior citizen law is clear about using any government-issued ID for the discount, some businesses honor only the senior citizen ID.
Seniors won’t even need to apply for a senior citizen ID once they hit 60 because their national ID shows their birthdate, which means they can immediately enjoy their senior citizen discount and benefits.
Disadvantages of having national ID card.
Does anyone believe that a national ID card could stop an external threat of terrorism? Think again that it is no deterrent to terrorists or criminals.
I guess there are many criminals here in the Philippines and they will falsify documents such as birth certificates to avail the new national ID card.
The national ID card maybe extremely difficult to falsify and that’s a good thing but the birth certificate to apply is easy to falsify for a criminal which in turn makes the ID card a joke.
In 2005, the Senate of the Philippines agreed that national ID card would have no impact on national security and crime in general.
Many countries reject national id particularly after witnessing the effects of national ID during the Second World War. We all have civil rights and have the liberty to move freely without surveillance this is the premise of freedom. Does a national ID card holding all our information infringe our civil liberties? Many countries say it does.
Intrinsically national ID is a bad idea just by the very fact someone is making decisions about who can access your information and for what reason. In many cases the person making these decisions about your information is a low level government official. How about your privacy?
The government may tell us today, tomorrow how secure the national ID system is and how they have taken everything into consideration but the fact is technology moves at lightning speed, and what is new today is old tomorrow. Sorry these are facts I am not trying to scare you.
Let us look at the logistics of implementing a national ID system. Consider what percentage of the population voted in the last election. It was reported 58%, which for elections is a lot. However, the fact remains many more would have voted if the voting system was accessible.
How does the government propose to reach 104 million Filipinos many of whom do not live in cities and cannot avail transport?
What is the cost of implementing national ID? Currently the government has set aside 2 billion pesos for the implementation of the ID card.
Does anyone think that 2 billion peso’s will suffice for rolling out national ID? Bear in mind the national ID card is free to all including expats.
All this is being done to give inclusion and government service to 16.5 million Filipinos. Call me cynical. It all seems very smelly to me.
Most Asked Questions
The most commonly asked questions are:
Q: Do I have to register?
A: Yes, the government requires everyone to register within a twelve-month period from signing into law.
Q:How do I apply?
A: You will need to visit your local PSA for further information on how to apply; at this point, the full information is not available but should be published eminently.
Q: What is required to apply?
A: Your birth certificate is all you need to apply.
Q: Who needs to apply?
A: Everyone regardless of age.
Q: How about new born?
A: Newborn babies will be registered automatically.
Q: Do I need to pay for the national ID?
A: No the national ID PhilID will be free of charge to all citizens and foreigners living in the Philippines.
Q: What you need to know about the proposed national ID system
A: The national ID system has been on the table for many years and has been implemented before under President Ramos but was later invalidated for privacy reasons by the Supreme Court.
It’s not only the Philippines where national ID is a controversial subject it has been implemented and failed in some countries and in other countries national ID has been a success.
Advocates of the national ID system proclaim it will make delivering government service a simple process and will give inclusion and a sense of national pride to excluded citizens.
The economic secretary claims that the national ID will provide opportunities to the 16.5 million Filipinos on the margins of society.
He also claims the national ID will reduce the red tape currently in place and reduce corruption across the board. This will be achieved by computerizing the whole population’s data.
Applying for benefits from the government will become straightforward when all of your digital information is in one place. Philippine ID will allow citizens to use one ID for all transactions.
The national ID card will make flying domestically a simple and easy process.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will hold all of the data held about individuals and we assure that the information will be held securely and without breach of trust.
The Data Protection Act 2012 covers your information and the only way your data can be released is by your express permission or via a court order in which you must be notified of. There is no other way anyone can access the system.
Lawyers have issued concerns about data records being potentially used regarding an individual and even the possibility of surveillance coming into play with changing records activities. Which of course would be a breach of the Data protection Act 2103 and client confidence?
4 Government IDs That Are Very Easy to Apply For
- Philippine Postal ID
The Philippine Postal ID is one of the easiest to get, and is widely accepted.If you’re a student, this is the easiest ID to get because all you need is your birth certificate or a school ID.
Philippine Passport validity has been extended to 10 years.
- Social Security System (SSS) ID
- NBI Clearance
If you’re a good and upstanding member of society, this is one of the easiest IDs to get because you can apply for it online.
Q: How Much Cost the new Philippine ID
A: Here is the good news; unlike most things in life, the new national ID system PhilID is free. The service and the card are both issued free to the applicant. You will also receive Philpin ID, which will allow you to follow the progress of your application.
For foreign nationals residing in the Philippines the card is also free, the new card may or may not negate the need for an ACR/Icard. Please check with immigration before falling foul of any laws and incurring penalties and fees.
Q: Is this a Free Identification card?
A: Yes, the card and registration process is 100% free of charge. However, if you need to get a birth certificate from the NSO their normal fees will be charged.
Q: Who are eligible to apply for PhilID
A: All Philippine citizens need to apply for the new national ID card or PhilID within twelve months of signing into law. If you are an OFW, contact your local Embassy or Consulate General for information on how you should proceed with your application while overseas. It will be better to fix you new national ID now than be issued with a violation when you return home.
If you are a foreign national residing in the Philippines you will also need to apply for the new national ID card, the card will be issued free of charge.
Q: Can Teenager require Phil ID?
A: Yes, it is important to register everyone in your family for the new national ID, PhilID will be required for school enrollment, college enrollment and university enrollment offering fast enrollment. Without the ID card, you may have trouble with further education.
Q: Can Foreigner Apply PhilID?
A: Foreigners living in the Philippines need to abide by the exact same laws as Filipinos, the national ID is mandatory for all residents. The national ID card will function the same as natural born citizen.
Q: Does the national ID have expiration?
A: Yes, the national ID does have expiration and should be renewed every ten years to keep biometric information current.
Q: How long will be issued upon registration?
A: The initial card will be issued for a period of ten years and after that time, you will need to renew you PhihID card to keep the biometric information up to date.
Q: Why is national identity important?
A: To be blunt national identity is not important in fact, it can be dangerous as we could become subject to believing all types of strange notions about who we are as a collective group. Political parties manipulate certain parts and groups of the population with national identity and that is why some people join the forces so they can serve their country. A better outlook would be to join the forces for your own reasons like career opportunities or adventure, travel and other reasons.
Nevertheless, I guess the pertinent question is do we think a national ID system is good for us as a country.
Well you need to look at the motives for implementing such a system and in my view there are good and bad things about carrying a national ID card.
For instance if you are asked to produce your national ID card say by the Police and you do not have it on your person what happens next? Are you hit with a penalty or worse, because if you think about it without your identification card who are you?
Who are you to the government? One could argue if you do not have id you are effectively an illegal alien, despite your skin tone and features easily identify your nationality.
How about all of the information about you being stored on a government computer system or the cloud. Does this instill you with confidence?
We all know in the past and present of the stories about our private information being breached by someone who has a use for it and can probably monetize your information that you gave over free.
Just look in the past few months of this year, the mighty face book has had tons of personal information taken from its servers. If you have a Facebook account, did you receive any compensation for having personal information that you entrusted to them? Only to find your information is now scattered around the globe.
The answer is no. So why is the Philippine national ID system any different? How often in the past 5 years, have you used a government service? In addition, if you have used a government service how would you rate it? Good, bad, indifferent.
I would say in most cases the employees of the government agencies do not care about your sensitive information and further more who has access to it.
In addition, for these reasons, I consider the national ID card a step backwards and once you step backwards, it is often an uphill struggle to step forward again.
What baffles me is why Senator Lacson the main author of this Bill feels that by making us all use a national ID card will benefit the marginalized elements of our society.
Ask yourself why they are marginalized? Is it because they do not have an ID card so they do not feel included in our society or is the problem much deeper than Lacson’s shallowness?
Citizens on the margins of our society experience extreme poverty. In my opinion, bringing them back into to the fold is and should have always been a priority. These citizens need financial assistance they need skills training and some need basic education. Until we face up to the realities, nothing will improve.
Where do we find many of our marginalized brothers and sisters? In the provinces is where we can find them living out a simple existence.
I can pretty much guarantee you unless the government is taking their national ID card service to the provinces the majority of these people will not register for the national ID card and the purported benefits it is said to have.
If you think, there is any possibility that your new national ID card will increase national security you are sadly mistaken. There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that states carrying an ID card affords any more protection to the citizens of the country.
However, the Philippine national ID card is here and it is likely it here to stay. So let us all go and find out where to register and let us hope the government has it right this time and our data is protected and not sold off to the highest bidder.
For most of us, law bidding citizens the new national ID card PhilID will not have any bearing on our daily lives and if it does, I hope we have a positive experience.
Do not forget whoever you are regardless of age or nationality you have one short year to apply for you all new national identity card, which will be known as PhilID.
Q: Who will be prioritized?
A: PSA will prioritize the registration of the poor, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, indigenous persons.