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Philippine local government launches virtual registration for citizens IDs

City governments in the Philippines are trying to do away with long lines for government transactions. Instead, they are using the internet and new technologies to fast-track business and permits transactions. The local government of Quezon City adopts the same mindset. It has recently announced that residents can now register for the QCitizen Identification Cards (QCitizen IDs) through the city’s website.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte in an interview said that all sectors within the locality shall be given their own card and that once the numbers of holders of the QCitizen IDs are tallied and finalised, the local government will integrate all necessary information into the city’s existing database. The mayor said, “We will have an exact number to work with, it’s very accurate and we can also plan better how to utilise the funds of the city. Every individual, for example, a senior citizen, your ID will have a unique number assigned to you and by typing in your number we should know that you are a senior citizen from this barangay.” 

She added that having a uniform ID for all residents can help streamline operations, particularly in social assistance programmes. The digital integration into one cohesive system of resident and beneficiary data is anticipated to be utilised once COVID-19 vaccines are delivered in the Philippines.  The city government expressed confidence that the provision of the QCitizen ID Cards can help in determining the list of citizens that will be prioritised during the mass vaccination programme of the government. 

While initially the QCitizen IDs will be used for COVID-19 vaccination, the local government of the city clarified that the IDs will also be used for all upcoming projects and assistance programmes of Quezon City. To register, city residents have to create their accounts on the city’s website. For assistance and instructions regarding registration, residents may access a step-by-step tutorial regarding the online application. 

For those who wish to apply for an ID but do not have access to the internet, the city government assured that personal, on-the-ground registration and interviews may be conducted by city authorities through a registration drive in each barangay. The physical registration activities are expected to be conducted in the next few weeks starting on January 15. Priority shall be given to senior citizens, persons with disabilities and COVID-19 frontliners. 

All residents must have government-issued IDs to be eligible to register. In place of these IDs, they may present barangay certificates issued by Quezon City. The registration of all residents is expected to be integrated into the local government’s database by the end of February.  The mayor also stressed that the QCitizen ID card is similar to the National ID set to be implemented under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). The rollout of this new card was done according to the National ID Law enacted by the government in August 2020 in an effort to enhance the country’s identification system, reduce corruption and improve governance. 

Under the PhilSys, the government plans to utilise a single ID card for all transactions in the country, whether in government or the private sector. Filipinos working abroad may also avail of the National ID. One Course Reference Number will be issued to each resident. This number will be associated with the cardholder’s Social Security System number, passport number and other government-issued IDs. 

The implementation of the national ID system and the QCitizen ID is one of the multiple initiatives adopted by the Philippine government in line with goals to accelerate its digital transformation. As previously cited by OpenGov Asia, various reforms in the government’s digital platforms are seen to hasten growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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