ID system to improve targeting for cash transfer program

By Leslie Gatpolintan

September 9, 2019, 5:49 pm

MANILA -- The country’s chief economist expects the implementation of the national identification (ID) system to improve the targeting of beneficiaries of social protection program meant to uplift the lives of the poor.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Monday the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), a priority social protection program focusing on the human capital development of the children of poor families, has been institutionalized.

Pernia noted the government is continuously updating the Listahanan to assure accurate data entry for program beneficiaries.

The Listahanan, or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country.

“The national ID will definitely help in making sure that the deserving beneficiaries are the ones really getting it (cash transfers),” he told reporters on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific Social Protection Week hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Pernia, also Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), pointed out that there are some people who lend or borrow IDs to some thus, the national ID should “make quantum improvements” on the grant of cash transfers.

He said the automated biometric identification system (ABIS) will be part of the national ID system.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) targets to start the mass registration for national ID system by mid-2020, and complete the enrollment of the population by mid-2022.

The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) aims to provide a valid proof of identity for all citizens and resident aliens as a means of simplifying public and private transactions. It was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on August 2018 in line with the government’s drive to curtail bureaucratic red tape.

The ID system will be used for application for eligibility, services, and access to social welfare and benefits granted by the government; passports and driver’s license; and tax-related transactions, among others.

“By next year, I think they will try to hit about 40 million (enrolment) because the exponential ramp-up will be June next year but the real massive registration will be in 2021,” Pernia said.

“(By 2022), I think more than 100 million. There will be some last mile citizens that will be difficult to reach but registration can continue beyond,” he added. (PNA