By Lee C. Chipongian
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will start printing the national identification (ID) cards in the fourth quarter this year, beginning with the requirements of the Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD), according to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
Diokno said the BSP is finalizing preparations to produce the national IDs on time and that they are “on the tail end of the process.”
“It’s ongoing (preparations),” he said. “(We will print) sometime towards the end of the year.” The IDs will be printed at the BSP’s Security Plant Complex in Quezon City, where they print banknotes, mint coins and refines gold.
Diokno said they will prioritize the IDs of the beneficiaries of the DSWD’s conditional cash transfer program or 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) to arrest the “leakages” in the cash grants.
The BSP chief said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is already gathering the data for the official national ID cards of all Filipinos, both here and abroad, and foreigners with permanent resident status in the country.
Diokno is hoping that with the national ID, Filipinos that have no government-issued ID such as 4Ps beneficiaries, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens will be included in the PSA system.
Eventually, he expects that the enrollees will be encouraged to enter another system which is the financial system by opening deposit accounts in banks.
The government has already conducted the bidding for the consortium that will implement the Philippine ID System (PhilSys).
Based on a press release, during the May 29 bidding, the corporate consortium of Nextix and Gemalto submitted the lowest bid at P1.188 billion, while Dermalog and Microgenesis bid P1.277 billion. Iwave, IRIS Corp. and Global Myoho Renge Copy, Inc. bid P1.368 billion.
The Amsterdam-based Gemalto handled the fingerprint biometric voter verification system for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the May 2019 national and local election. Comelec also tapped Nextix’s services during the May election.
PSA is currently evaluating the bids and conducting post qualification stage.
President Duterte signed the PhilSys Act or the national ID system law in mid-2018, with a view of registering 107 million IDs by the end of his term in 2022.
The BSP’s commitment to print the national ID is one of four ongoing infrastructure initiatives for the central bank, which in the future, will also including the printing of Philippine passports.