Philippine identity card

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Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID
Sample PhilSys ID PSA (cropped).jpg
Sample photo of the front design of the ID.
TypeIdentity document
Issued by Philippines
First issuedPilot implementation:
2019 (selected regions)
Full implementation:
2020 (5-year implementation)[1][2]
PurposeProvide valid proof of identification for all citizens and resident aliens.[3]
EligibilityPhilippine citizenship or permanent residency for non-citizens; At least 18 years of age
CostN/A (Free of charge)

The Philippine Identification System ID (PhilSys ID) or the Philippine Identification Card (Filipino: Pambansang Pagkakakilanlan) is the official national identity card for Filipino citizens worldwide and foreign permanent residents in the Philippines. The document is a significant part of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), the national identification system to be implemented by the Philippine government.

The legislation which seeks to implement this system is the "Philippine Identification System Act" (Republic Act No. 11055) which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 6, 2018.[4][5]

Proponents of the measure meant the system to ease government and private transaction while critics of such proposals have deemed it a potential tool to violate privacy.


Prior introduction efforts[edit]

A national identification system for the Philippines was proposed as early as the 1990s, particularly during administration of then-President Fidel V. Ramos. However previous efforts to legislate the system has failed due to concerns in privacy and lack of support from the Congress.[6]

Panfilo Lacson began to lobby for the establishment of such system when he was elected as Senator in 2001. During the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte the proposed national identification system had progress in the legislature.[6]

In mid-2016, Quezon City Representative Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senator Antonio Trillanes filed House of Representative Bill No. 12 and Senate Bill No. 95 for an identification system for Filipino citizens residing in the Philippines and abroad. Belmonte claims at the time of filing that the Philippines is one of the only nine countries in the world without a national identification system.[7]

Senator Manny Pacquiao has also filed similar measures.[8]

Legislative history[edit]

Philippine Identification System Act
Coat of arms of the Philippines.svg
Congress of the Philippines
CitationRepublic Act No. 11055
Territorial extent Philippines
Enacted byHouse of Representatives of the Philippines
Passed8 September 2017
Enacted bySenate of the Philippines
Passed19 March 2018
Signed6 August 2018
Signed byPresident Rodrigo Duterte
Legislative history
Bill introduced in the House of Representatives of the PhilippinesAn Act Establishing the Filipino Identification System
Bill citationHouse Bill No. 6221
Bill published onAugust 17, 2017
Introduced byCongressman Feliciano Belmonte Jr. et. al.
First readingAugust 22, 2017
Second readingAugust 30, 2017
Third readingSeptember 8, 2017
Conference committee bill passedMay 30, 2018
Committee reportCommittee Report No. 360
Bill introduced in the Senate of the PhilippinesAn Act Establishing the Philippine Identification System
Bill citationSenate Bill No. 1738
Bill published onMarch 12, 2018
Introduced bySenator Franklin Drilon, Panfilo Lacson
First readingMarch 12, 2018
Second readingMarch 14, 2018
Third readingMarch 19, 2018
Conference committee bill passedMay 29, 2018
Committee reportCommittee Report No. 277
Status: Not fully in force

House Bill No. 6221[edit]

House Bill No. 6221 was filed before the House of Representatives proposing the establishment of the Filipino Identification System or FilSys requiring Filipino citizens of at least 18 years old to obtain a FilSys ID. The information gathered for the proposed system will be restricted from law enforcement agencies except under certain circumstances. In the bill's third and final reading, 142 members of the lower legislature voted for the bill in the final reading while seven voted against.[8]

Senate Bill No. 1738[edit]

Senator Panfilo Lacson authored and sponsored Senate Bill No. 1738,[9] or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act of 2018 which mandates a national identification system with compulsory registration.[10] The PhilSys is meant to provide Filipino citizens and foreign residents in the Philippines a single and unified proof of identity to ease public and private transactions and deter criminality. The document from the national identification system will be called as the PhilSys ID which will bear a permanent identification number called the PhilSys number (PSN). The ID will contain the full name, facial image, birth date, address, and fingerprints of the bearer. However, possession of the ID card itself will not be compulsory. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will be the registry of the national identification system.[11] Similar to the House of Representatives bill, the data from the national identification system will only be made available to third parties under certain circumstances.[9]

The third and final reading of the bill was held on March 19, 2018 with Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros voting against the measure.[9]

Bicameral Conference Committee[edit]

The Bicameral Conference Committee has approved Lacson's bill with minor revisions in May 2018.[10] The consolidated version was ratified by Senate on May 29 and the House of Representatives on the following day.[12] The bill can now be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.[13]

Republic Act No. 11055[edit]

On August 6, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the "Philippine Identification System Act" (R.A. 11055).[14] Section 9 of the Act requires every Philippine citizen and resident alien to personally register with the Philippine ID system.[3]


Critics of the PhilSys has aired concerned that a national identification system might be used to abuse privacy as well as a means for the Philippine government for control and repression.[11] In particular, Karapatan has alleged that the proposed PhilSys along with the granting of the Philippine National Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group subpoena powers as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's "repressive measures".[15]

Senator Panfilo Lacson, the author of a Senate bill proposing PhilSys, pointing out that the information to be gathered for the PhilSys IDs is already present in other government-issued IDs such as voters' IDs, passports, and driver's licenses.[11]

Structure and usage[edit]

The PhilSys ID will store 13 sets of information. The identification document shall display the assigned PhilSys number (PSN), full name (Given Name, Middle Name, Surname), sex, blood type, birth date, birthplace, marital status (optional), and photograph of the bearer. It will also store the bearer's mobile number (optional), email address (optional), and biometrics data (full fingerprints set and iris scan) in the PhilSys Registry.[16]

As a government-issued identification document, it also can be used the day-to-day transactions of registering for a mobile phone line, obtaining certain discounts at stores and shops (especially for the Senior Citizens), and logging on to certain websites on the internet. Schools frequently use it to identify students, both on-line and in exams. The identity number will be considered as citizen's unique identity number for life.


Filipino citizens as well as resident aliens will be required to obtain a PhilSys ID.[16] In an October 2018 report, PSA head (Lisa Grace S. Bersales, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the PSA) reported that the necessary bid procurement for the national ID system was scheduled to commence at around 3rd week of October 2018 and end around December 2018. March 2019 is the projected start of registration for one million individuals who are beneficiaries of the government's Unconditional Cash Transfer program while the registration for the general public with an estimated of at least 25 million eligible Filipino will start in September 2019.[17]

By November 2018, the PSA was now working with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) for the proof of concept. With the design of concept done, testing was now projected for January 2019, with procurement estimated ideally for June 2019, with roll-out planned for September 2019. The PSA set as a target getting 7 million Filipinos registered with priority given to beneficiaries of the government's cash transfer program and indigenous people (IP)s, while they project in 2023 that all living Overseas Filipinos would have been issued IDs by that time.[18]

On 7 January 2019, the target was adjusted to 5 million Filipinos for 2019. The goal is that by the end of the 1st quarter to the beginning of the 2nd quarter, the PSA will master PhilSys's processes such as protocols regarding registration and transaction-number generation. September 2019 is set as the target for the launch of the Philippine ID system. By 2020, a total of 26 million Filipinos are projected to have registered with the ID system while in 2025 all 106 million Filipinos would have a PhilSys ID number assigned to them. By that time PhilSys ID number should be issued to newborn Filipino citizens.[19]

According to schedule, pilot-testing started on 2 September 2019 with a small number of individuals: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-beneficiaries and personnel of the PSA & National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). (This small 1st try is to make sure that the new system functions, works efficiently, and keeps the private-data secure.) The testing is planned continue until July 2020, when registration is slated to be expanded and opened to the public, with overseas registry starting mid-2021. "The first part will involve biometric and demographic capturing processes. Once the system is stable, operations will expand to cover select groups from nearby regions, Regions III and IV-A, based on different geographical typologies. Set to begin on May 2020, the PSA will extend the pilot registration process to test the end-to-end system which essentially involves deduplication, generation of unique PhilSys Numbers (PSN), and card printing and issuance." According to new estimates, 100% registry of all Filipinos should be reached by mid-2022.[20]

"The PhilID, however, does not and will not replace existing government identification cards that serve a purpose beyond identity authentication, such as the driving license (for driving), passport (for travel), and UMID (for social security transactions), etc.

It will be used for application for eligibility, services, and access to (1) social welfare and benefits granted by the government; (2) passports, driver’s license, (3) tax-related transactions, (4) admission in schools and government hospitals, (5) opening of bank accounts, (6) registration and voting purposes, (7) transactions for employment purposes, (8) cardholder’s criminal records and clearances."[20]


  1. ^ Placido, Dharel (6 August 2018). "Duterte signs National ID system into law". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  2. ^ Valencia, Czeriza (11 August 2018). "National ID to be pilot-tested in select regions". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Republic Act No. 11055; Philippine Identification System Act". Act of July 24, 2017 (PDF). Official Gazette. Philippine Government.
  4. ^ "Philippines president signs national ID system into law". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  5. ^ "PRRD signs national ID law". Philippine News Agency. 2018-08-06.
  6. ^ a b Sy, Marvin (28 May 2018). "Congress to ratify national ID bill today". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  7. ^ Diaz, Jess; Romero, Paolo (8 July 2016). "Belmonte, Trillanes push for national ID system". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b Ilas, Joyce (8 September 2017). "House approves national ID bill on final reading". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Elemia, Camille (19 March 2018). "Filipinos to have national IDs soon after Senate, House pass bill". Rappler. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Senate, House panels approve nat'l ID system bill". CNN Philippines. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Cabico, Katreena (29 May 2018). "What you need to know about the proposed national ID". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  12. ^ Colcol, Erwin (30 May 2018). "House ratifies bicam version of national ID bill". GMA News. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  13. ^ Lopez, Virgil (25 May 2018). "Palace: Duterte ready to sign national ID bill into law". GMA News. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  14. ^ Lopez, Virgil (6 August 2018). "Duterte signs national ID system law". GMA News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  15. ^ Cabico, Gaea Katreena (12 March 2018). "Karapatan: Police subpoenas, National ID system 'legitimize repression'". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Congress ratifies bicam report on national ID system". CNN Philippines. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Nat'l ID to be rolled out in March: PSA". Philippine News Agency. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  18. ^ "PSA to roll out 7-M nat'l IDs in 2019". Philippine News Agency. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  19. ^ "PSA targets 5-M nat'l ID registrants this year". Philippine News Agency. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Phil ID System on track on registering Pinoys by mid-2022". Philippine News Agency. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.