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The Philippines Speeds Digital ID Roll-Out through Public-Private Partnership

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. approved the step needed to accelerate technology adoption in developing a national digital ID. According to Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil, the decision was taken as a response to the public-private partnership (PPP) proposed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to launch the national digital identity, PhilID.

The procedures are consistent with President Marcos Jr.’s directive to accelerate the digitalisation of the Philippine Identification (PhilID) system. The President believes that collaboration will make upgrading and adopting national digital IDs easier. The partnerships took place to ensure cardholders’ transactions with the public and private sectors ran smoothly.

“During the conversation, President Marcos encouraged the business sector to assist in distributing the National ID, stressing that it had the technology and capability for new digital IDs,” Garafil stated.

President Marcos Jr. issued an order to accelerate the digitalisation of the National Identification (ID) system, which may be utilised for public and private transactions. Marcos issued the directive during a meeting with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) on Digital Infrastructure at Manila’s Malacanang Palace.

The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act requires that the PhilID be acknowledged and recognised in government and private transactions and considered an official and sufficient acceptable proof of identity for all Filipino citizens and resident foreigners.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is the implementing body in charge of overall PhilSys planning, management, and administration. The debut of the mobile PhilID app is planned for the first quarter of 2023, with private sector help.

Digital ID benefits

The President underlined the significance of a digital PhilID system. One of the benefits of having a digital ID system is the ability to submit government records, employ digital signatures, and incorporate identities into government organisations. Additionally, the PhilID will include system integration, ePrescription, online banking, transit solution, personal information reference, application for government documents, and face verification.

“Adopting a digital ID system provides benefits such as automatic eKYC (Know Your Customer), identity theft protection, credit card and loan applications, and a digital wallet,” he noted.

Garafil stated that integrating a digital ID with a digital wallet will assist in alleviating long line-ups in AICS distribution and boost the government’s anti-fraud and anti-scamming initiatives. PhilSys’s legitimate proof of ID is projected to streamline public and private transactions and transform the company into a social and economic platform that supports seamless social service delivery and strengthens financial inclusion for public and commercial services.

“PhilSys is projected to expedite the country’s transition into a digital economy, enabling presence-less, paperless, and cashless transactions,” she continued.

According to Garafil, citing a global study, deploying a digital ID scheme in an emerging nation with high adoption rates can unleash an economic value of up to 3% of GDP by 2025, equivalent to PHP700 billion (US$12,79 billion). Furthermore, the digital use of PhilIDs will cost an additional 6% of GDP by 2030, or PHP1.8 trillion (US$33 billion).

Increased use of financial services, advanced access to employment, enhanced efficiency, cost savings for government and institutions, higher tax involvement leading to higher collections, and easier access and participation from rural farmers are all sources of value for the GDP increase.

Thailand is making similar efforts to generate digital identification. Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) and The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) recently conducted a news conference with six agencies to discuss the topic “Digital ID framework, opens a strategy to Digital ID Thai”. The meeting was intended to investigate and provide further details on the progress of the Digital ID framework.

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