MORE than 77 million Filipinos have registered for their national ID, of whom over eight million were also able to open a bank account for the first time through the colocation strategy of the registration centers with a bank.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that as of March 10, 2023, more than 77.3 million Filipinos had successfully registered to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

It added that over 25.9 million physical ID cards (PhilIDs) had been delivered, while more than 27.14 million Filipinos have claimed their ePhilIDs whether at registration centers or other distribution access points, including their mobile devices where ePhilIDs can be downloaded.

The ePhilID is the digital version of the PhilID, which is printed on a piece of paper that registered Filipinos can already use while waiting for the delivery of their PhilID printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

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

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

Aside from identifying residents, PhilSys has also helped the government give millions of Filipinos formal access to financial services. Soon, it will also enable the government to weed out ghost beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the country’s cash transfer program for the poorest of the poor.

With financial inclusion being one of the goals of PhilSys, PSA partnered with state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) for a colocation strategy that allows PhilSys-registered individuals to open transaction accounts at PhilSys registration centers.

“This strategy allowed 8.4 million Filipinos to be onboarded to financial inclusion, 5.8 million of whom were able to open their first transaction accounts, which were used in 108,473 recorded transactions amounting to P275.8 million,” the PSA said in a statement.

Bank card

Under the strategy, unbanked adult Filipinos are issued a banking card without needing to make an initial deposit. No maintaining balance is required either.

PhilSys registrants can use the Landbank prepaid cards to withdraw cash, shop and pay bills online and even receive government subsidies digitally, Landbank said.

Bringing unbanked Filipinos into the formal financial sector not only makes growth more inclusive but also propels economic growth as access to formal banking services encourages people to save money, repay loans and invest in financial products, Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo has said.

Many Filipinos, usually from low-income households, do not own a bank account for the reason that they lack money or don’t have an ID acceptable to banks.

The rollout of the national ID and Landbank’s initiatives to give them a banking card without an initial deposit remove those obstacles.

According to the BSP, at the end of 2021, 44 percent of the adult population, or 34.3 million Filipinos, still did not have a bank account.

The establishment of a single national identification system to provide a valid proof of identity for Filipino citizens and the country’s resident aliens is mandated under Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, signed by then President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018. PhilSys registration began in 2021.


Today, the PSA is looking to use the PhilSys registry as a means to verify the identity of potential social protection program beneficiaries in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Listahanan.

Also known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), Listahanan is an information management system that identifies and locates the poor. Some 30.5 million poor individuals are currently on the list, the PSA said, and their identification through the PhilSys registry could help eliminate duplicates or ghost beneficiaries.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries are selected through the NHTS-PR. The 4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy of the national government, providing conditional cash grants to extremely poor households aimed at improving the health, nutrition and education of their children aged 0-18.

Last October, the Commission on Audit said the 4Ps had 4.2 million active beneficiaries nationwide. PhilSys registration is not mandatory, but it is encouraged because it provides benefits, such as easier access to the formal financial sector, job opportunities and government services. Eliminating identity fraud through the national ID system also facilitates the conduct of business transactions, as it helps both the government and private sector identify customers transacting with them physically and online, the National Economic and Development Authority has said.