Here’s Everything That You Need To Know About The National ID!

Here’s Everything That You Need To Know About The National ID!

In August 2018, the president signed the National ID Law to streamline the national identification system reducing corruption, enhancing governance, and serving as a tool to keep the public safe. The Philippine Identification System (Philsys) implementation is on the horizon, and the initial registration will begin on October 12, 2020. 

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The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has recently announced that the national ID system registration will begin on October 12. The initial registration will prioritize registrants from the  Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) list to ease the financial assistance distribution process. The registration will be in two “Steps,” the first one will be gathering personal and demographic information, while the second will be biometrics and photo taking. Step 2 will start on November 25, 2020.

Now that its launch is finally set in stone, here is everything that you need to know about it! 

What is the National ID system?

The bill that enacted a centralized identification system of Filipino citizens and residents states that the national ID system of the country will be called the “Philippine Identification System” or “Philsys.” It’s a single ID card that can be used as proof of identification for all transactions in the country, whether it’s by a government agency or a private institution. Once this is implemented, Filipinos both here and abroad (OFWs and Dual Citizens) will be required to register.

How does it work?

In this national ID system or the Philsys, the person should declare his or her name according to his or her birth certificate, photograph, gender, blood type, and signature. The ID will come with its unique serial number, which will be called the Philsys Number (PSN). The reference number will be issued by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA).

What information will be stored here?

This tamper-proof ID will be housing a smart chip that contains unique information associated with a person like his biometrics, iris scan, facial image reception code, and many other distinguishing features.

Other government-issued identification numbers such as the following will also be associated with the person’s designated CRN:

  • SSS
  • Pag-IBIG
  • PhilHealth
  • Passport number
  • Voter’s registration
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Driver’s license number

Who are eligible to get one?

All Filipino citizens are automatically eligible to get a National ID, including Overseas Filipino Workers, dual citizens residing in another country, and even resident aliens (foreigners). 

Data privacy and confidentiality

Legislators who opposed this move by the government were concerned about the safety of everyone’s personal information from data leaks and other security attacks. However, Sol Aragones, the committee chairperson assured the public that the only agency that will have access to the information will be the PSA.

The bill made it clear that the information in the Philsys, despite being in the safekeeping of the PSA, cannot be disclosed to any requesting agencies without the consent of the ID holder, unless it falls under the following situations:

  • In cases of accidents or disasters, where the ID holder’s medical history is needed by medical workers
  • When the interest of public health or safety requires the data
  • A court orders the data to be divulged

The bill also states that PSA, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the National Privacy Commission must implement measures that will guarantee the safekeeping of the information.

The benefits of a national ID system

The main goal of this ID system is to streamline transactions, lower the cost of government-related ID application, and ease and convenience for all transactions. How does it work?

  1. Streamlined information

With a single ID for everything, all the information about a citizen is associated with his or her national ID number or CRN. From the basic personal information like birthday, address, the phone number to your driving records, criminal records, and loans, a national ID system will provide access to this information to relevant agencies authorized by the person. This will not only streamline information but also transactions with the government or private organizations.

  1. No need for other “valid IDs”

Currently, we have separate IDs for SSS, Philhealth, Pag-IBIG, and even for our tax and voter registration. While it makes sense to have a separate ID for each because they are after all different agencies of the government, it would be practical and more efficient if they’re all associated with a single ID.

Once a national ID system is in place, the government and private agencies will no longer need other IDs to verify a person’s identity. Verification can already be done easily through the automated system which will come together with the implementation of the Philsys. From airports to banks, there’s no need for you to stress about bringing several valid IDs just to get your transactions going (which is a typical scenario in the country).

  1. Faster ID verification

The provision of the Philsys will guarantee a fool-proof and highly secured process of identification according to Arnie A Teves Jr, a congressman. This will be made possible with the government’s initiative to gradually install biometric machines in all of its relevant agencies. Your trip to SSS, Philhealth, Pag-IBIG, or whatever government agency will be less of a hassle once the national ID system is in place.

How to apply for a national ID?

The procedure for the registration is based on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act are as follows:

1. Download their application form (download link not available yet).

2. Gather all the required documents.

What are the requirements for the National ID registration?

  • Birth Certificate issued by PSA (formerly NSO) and one government-issued ID which contains the applicant’s full name, photo, and signature or thumb mark; or
  • Valid Philippine passport
  • Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card issued by SSS or GSIS; or
  • Other equivalent documents approved by the PSA. [/block]

3. Go to a registration center near you and submit the duly accomplished Philsys Registration Form together with your documents.

Where to apply for a National ID?

Applicants will have to visit the following offices in their region:

  • Regional and provincial offices of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
  • Civil Registry Office (LCRO) in each city or municipality
  • Any Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) branch
  • Any Social Security System (SSS) branch
  • Any Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) branch
  • Any Pag-IBIG or Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) branch
  • Commission on Elections (COMELEC) local or provincial office
  • Any Postal office (under PHL Post or Philippine Postal Corporation)
  • Other government agencies or GOCCs as may be assigned by the PSA.
For your information

LGUs will set up mobile registration centers for stage 2 and registrants will each be scheduled for the following process .

4. Biometric information capture which includes a front-facing photograph, fingerprints, and an iris scan. Applicants below five years of age are not required to have their biometrics taken, a front-facing photo would already suffice.
5. Philsys Number (PSN) will be generated by the system for the applicant. However, if biometric and demographic information isn’t unique (or found to have a duplicate), further verification will be conducted by the PSA, and the PSN will not be generated yet.
6. Once the verification is complete and a PSN has already been issued, the National ID will then be issued to the applicant.

How much does it cost?

Initial application and renewal shall be free of charge for both local and resident aliens. Replacements due to loss, damage, or change of entries will be subject to a fee that has not been disclosed by PSA yet. However, indigent citizens who can provide a Certificate of Indigency shall be exempted from the applicable fees.

How will it impact your banking experience?

Identification plays an important role in managing your finances through your bank account. When you pay using your credit card, establishments will ask for a valid ID before running your card to charge you. When you do a transaction in a bank, you’ll need various IDs to verify your identity. With a more streamlined process of verifying a person’s identity through the Philsys, the experience will be more seamless.

1. Prevention against identity theft and fraud

It has been made clear that together with the national ID system, biometric machines will be installed in relevant government agencies. Also, state of the art technology is used for the national ID to make sure that it cannot be replicated or used by others.

The smart chip embedded in the ID will contain unique information associated with a person like his biometrics, iris scan, facial image reception code, and many other distinguishing features.
This will reduce identity theft, especially when it comes to availing banking or credit products, which can have dire consequences for the victims.

This security measure may not happen immediately once the Philsys is implemented, but once the system, its infrastructure, and the technology have been fully established, people will surely reap the security benefits that come with it.

2. Financial inclusion for everyone

During the summit on Financial Inclusion in the Digital Economy hosted by the ADB, according to Rochelle Tomas, the Inclusive Finance Advocacy officer of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), “One of the key barriers to financial inclusion in the country is the lack of a universal national ID and private industry has also identified it as one of the major costs in getting people on-board the financial system”

Currently, BSP has a very strict policy when it comes to opening a bank account in the country. It requires at least one photo ID together with other proofs of identification. While employed individuals could easily obtain valid photo IDs such as an SSS ID or UMID, and other official documents to verify their identity; the unemployed population, on the other hand, does not have access to those. With a national ID system coming close to its implementation, it will be a lot easier for the unemployed and unbanked Filipino to start banking.

As the country’s ID system heads towards a streamlined and automated process, everyone will benefit from it in a number of ways. Not only will it cut the unnecessarily bureaucratic process in many public and private agencies short, but it will also make many services from the private sector more inclusive to more Filipinos. Philsys will make day-to-day transactions of Filipinos less of a headache.


This article was originally published in August 2018 and is updated to keep information relevant and up to date.

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