(Courtesy of the Philippine Statistics Authority)

MANILA – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will release three types of physical national identification or PhilID cards – in print, downloadable, and mobile formats.

The PSA, in a statement Wednesday, said it is eyeing the delivery of 30 million physical cards and the establishment of 20 million digital national IDs this year.

It also plans to pilot test the printable version of the digital PhilIDs by October and will launch the mobile version by the end of the year.

The digital PhilID will have similar validity functions as physical PhilID cards, which are now being distributed by the PSA's official courier partner, the Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost).

The PSA noted that the printable digital ID format would likewise contain security features, such as those in physical cards.

It also has a unique digital signature, embedded in a quick response (QR) code for safe authentication, which can be validated through the PhilSys check.

Registrants' demographic data can also be readable in printed format.

Deputy National Statistician of the PhilSys Registry Office, Fred Solleta, assured that the PhilID, regardless of its format, will be functional and accepted as valid proof of identification.

Acquiring all formats of PhilIDs will be free of charge.

"The PSA is continuously working on the printing and delivery of PhilID cards to close the gap between the number of registered individuals and cards delivered," Solleta said.

PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa, also the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, said the low-income earners would be prioritized in the provision of PhilIDs.

“This will immediately allow better access to more financial and social protection services through the provision of a free valid proof of identity while waiting for their physical ID,” Mapa added.

The PSA said the digital PhilID is part of the government's proactive strategy to push for financial inclusivity, through the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The government will also prioritize the beneficiaries of the social protection program in the provision of the printed PhilID format.

“Low-income individuals have always been our priority. The PSA will still continue to prioritize these individuals as we roll out the printable version of the digital ID,” Mapa said.

The PSA said the digital printed PhilIDs, and the downloadable mobile ID application can be useful to owners while waiting for their physical PhilID cards to be delivered.

The PHLPost will try to send the PhilIDs house-to-house, with the “plaza-type” distribution to be implemented for owners who were not home during the first and second attempts of delivery.

To heed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s directives during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), the PSA said it would maximize efforts to issue 30 million national IDs by the end of 2022 and reach the target goal of 92 million by the middle of next year.

Marcos cited that the PhilID is crucial to pushing digital transformation in the country.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act or Republic Act 11055 in August 2018, allowing Filipinos to acquire a PhilID, which aims to boost seamless government and private services where they will only need to present one ID during transactions.

The PhilID shall be a valid proof of identity and a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and opening of bank accounts. (PNA)