By Ben Rosario
About six million Filipinos will receive their national identification cards when the first batch will be released in September this year.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) gave this assurance during a hearing conducted by the House Oversight Committee on Population and Family Relations in Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental.
Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for the holding of the oversight proceedings as she pushed for the immediate implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
PSA officials assured the House panel that they are ready to conduct the first batch of registration and issue the first IDs this coming September 2019.
“I am happy that it’s all systems go for the National ID system based on the timeline they have presented to us this morning,” Arroyo told reporters after the Oversight hearing in Dumaan City said.
Arroyo convened the House Oversight Committee hearing at the Bethel Guest House in Dumaguete City since its principal author Rep. Arnie Teves is from Negros Oriental.
Also in attendance were Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay, Teves, Reps. Lourdes Aggabao, Jocelyn Limchaikong and Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Remollo.
She said the Oversight Committee hearing is in furtherance of the other function of the House of Representatives to determine if the laws passed by Congress are properly implemented.
During the hearing, lawyer Lourdines Dela Cruz, Deputy National Statistician of the PSA, said in line with RA 11055 (The Philippine Identification System Act) , they will start the registration of about 6M individuals for the PhilSys this September.
Those that are eligible to register are Filipinos and resident aliens at least five years old.
Dela Cruz pointed out that the first to be registered are indigents, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and government workers in several key areas all over the country.
The information to be gathered for the PhilSys will include biometrics (thumbprint, iris and face scanning), full name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, blood type, address, and if one is a Filipino or a resident alien.
Information about the marital status, mobile number and email address are optional.
After the registration, which is free of charge, the registrant will be given his/her permanent PhilSys Number.
The corresponding card will be issued a few days later after the information is authenticated.
The card will serve as a single identification system for all Filipino Citizens and resident aliens to eliminate the need to present other forms of identification when transacting with the government and private sector.
By 2022, Dela Cruz said they would have issued 100 million cards to Filipinos and resident aliens.