More than 50 million national ID physical, digital cards printed

File photo
File photo

THE Philippine Statistics Authority has printed more than 50 million Philippine Identification System physical ID cards (PhilIDs) and ePhilIDs combined, it reported Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, meaning it has covered nearly half of the Philippine population.

According to the 2020 census, the Philippines had a population of 109,035,343 persons.

As of Feb. 2, the PSA said, 30,558,332 PhilIDs had been issued, of which 23,256,884 had been delivered as of Jan. 31, 2023.

Some 19,703,727 ePhilIDs had also been issued.

The ePhilID is the digital version of the PhilID which is printed on a piece of paper. One may laminate his ePhilID.

The ePhilID can be availed of by registered persons with PhilSys Numbers (PSN) who have yet to receive their physical PhilID card.

The PSN is the unique 12-digit permanent identification number assigned to every successful registrant to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The printed ePhilID bears the same information as the physical PhilID card, such as the registered person’s demographic data, photograph, PhilSys Card Number (PCN, which is different from the PSN), generation date and QR code.

The ePhilID has the same functionality and validity as the physical PhilID card, meaning it can be used as a valid proof of identity to transact with the government and the private sector.

PhilSys is the government’s central identification platform for all Filipino citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines. Even newborn children may be registered.

President Rodrigo Duterte paved the way for the establishment of a single national identification system to provide a valid proof of identity for Filipino citizens and the country’s resident aliens by signing Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, in 2018.


PhilSys registration is not mandatory, but it is encouraged because it provides various benefits, such as easier access to the formal financial sector, job opportunities and government services, including social welfare programs.

At the end of 2021, 44 percent of the adult population, or a whopping 34.3 million Filipinos, many from low-income households, still did not own a bank account, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

The lack of an acceptable ID has been cited as one of the biggest barriers in opening a bank account. The rollout of the national ID will remove that obstacle.

Lack of money is the top reason for not having a bank account.

The 34.3 million figure was already an improvement, from the 51.2 million Filipinos who were unbanked in 2019.

Aside from making more services available to Filipinos, the national ID system is envisioned to eliminate identity fraud, promote the ease of doing business as it will help both the government and private sector identify customers transacting with them both physically and online, and promote participation and trust in the digital delivery of service by both the government and the private sector, the National Economic and Development Authority said.


In a statement, PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa, national statistician and civil registrar general, said the PSA is working with the BSP for faster printing and production, and the Philippine Postal Corp. for speedy delivery.

The ePhilID was introduced in part to allow PhilSys-registered pesons to more quickly enjoy the benefits of registration because it has been taking quite a while for them to receive their physical cards after registration.

PhilSys-registered persons can claim their ePhilID at PhilSys registration centers or have it issued through plaza-type and house-to-house distribution, the agency said.

Registrants may also download a PDF copy of their ePhilIDs themselves on their mobile devices.

In fact, as of Feb. 2, 2023, 440,784 ePhilIDs had been downloaded, the agency said.

Undersecretary Mapa assured that “all registered persons will receive a PhilID printed by the BSP, even if they claim or download their ePhilIDs.”


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