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Congress Establishes Official Government ID

After years of lobbying from various proponents, Congress finally passed the National Identification System Act which was approved by the President on August 6, 2018.

The Philippine Identification System Act establishes a single national identification system referred to as the “Philippine Identification System” or “PhilSys”.

Through the PhilSys, Filipino citizens and resident aliens will be assigned a PhilSys Number (PSN) and a PhilID. Such ID shall serve as the individual’s official government-issued identification document (ID). This aims to simplify socio-economic transactions and services in both the public and private sector.

Accordingly, all Filipino citizens and aliens residing in the Philippines for at least one hundred eighty (180) days must register personally before the various Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) offices as well as other authorized government agencies.

Filipino citizens must present their birth certificate as a basic documentary requirement for identification. For resident aliens, proof of his or her residence in the Philippines shall be required. Alternative or additional documents may be submitted to further establish identify

Meanwhile, the initial application and issuance as well as the renewal of the PhilID of Filipino citizens shall be free of charge. Resident aliens, on the other hand, must pay a standard fee for the issuance of their PhilID.

The PSA shall be the implementing agency for carrying out the provisions of the law. Consequently, the PSA shall form part of the PhilSys Policy and Coordination Council (PSPCC) which council shall be organized to formulate the policies and guidelines to ensure the effective coordination and implementation of the PhilSys.

The PSA expects to grant national IDs to six million Filipinos in 2019 and twenty-five million Filipinos by 2022. Full-scale implementation of the law is expected to set in 2023.

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