The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is now producing digital Philippine Identification (PhilID) cards, often known as ‘National ID’ cards, that are printable, downloadable, and may be generated through their mobile app. It will be available in October.
PSA plans to print 50 million physical and digital cards by the end of 2022. This action comes a day after President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. issued directions about the identification system in his inaugural State of the Nation Address on Monday, requesting speedier distribution and a target of over 92 million national IDs issued by 2023.
PSA anticipates that 30 million physical IDs will be delivered out of the 50 million copies, with the remaining 20 million reserved for digital copies.
According to the government, the digital PhilID system is part of their “proactive strategy,” which allows registrants to print, download, or generate a digital national ID card that can be used immediately while waiting for the physical copy. And these procedures will only be possible with their new smartphone app.
Security and validity
People were mostly concerned about the security risk of printable national IDs when the news broke lately. PSA insures that the digital IDs contain a security feature that is shared between the digital and physical copies.
According to them, the digital ID features a unique digital signature in the form of a QR code that can be scanned for verification using their ‘PhilSys Check’ website.
According to Dennis Mapa, PSA Undersecretary, National Statistician, and Civil Registrar General, the printable form of the national ID can only be printed at PSA registration sites. As a result, illicit printing of such printable IDs would be prevented.
However, the agency has not provided any additional information about the materials or methods that will be utilized for the printed PhilID.
PSA further stated that the digital PhilID will be functional and legitimate in the same way as the physical version.
Priority: low-income individuals
PSA stated that participants of the social protection program will be prioritized for the printable form of the digital PhilID, which will provide them with immediate and enhanced access to additional financial and social services.
“Low-income individuals have always been our priority. The PSA will still continue to prioritize these individuals as we roll out the printable version of the digital ID,” said Mapa.
“This will immediately allow better access to more financial and social protection services through the provision of a free valid proof of identity while waiting for their physical ID,” Mapa added.
Pilot tests for the printed format of the digital ID are scheduled for this semester and will begin in October. By the end of the year, the mobile format (perhaps generated copy via mobile app) will be available.