3.7M PhilSys registrants now have bank accounts

MANILA – Some 3.7 million bank accounts have been opened so far since the registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) started, the country’s chief economist said Wednesday.

“Our objective here is to have 100-percent financial inclusion at the family level by the end of the year. So next year, when we need to provide subsidies, it will only (be) through bank accounts,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said during the 42nd National Conference of Employers.

He said they hope to provide access to bank accounts to 26 million families.

Chua said financial inclusion is among the priority use cases for the PhilSys as the Land Bank of the Philippines is co-locating in registration sites with the goal of opening bank accounts for all low-income families by the end of 2021.

He said the PhilSys registry will also help in the efficient and effective distribution of additional social transfers to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

He added it may likewise aid the efficient distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to the general population.

Chua, also Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said 36,047,288 individuals have already completed Step 1 registration since October last year.

“Our target is to get to 70 million so we are largely, I think, on track. For the remaining half, we invite everyone to visit our registration website to input your demographics. So this is available in 81 provinces and in the NCR (National Capital Region),” he said.

The NEDA chief said house-to-house demographic collection started last October, online registration last April 30, and Step 2 registration last January.

Chua said low income families are visited house-to-house for demographic collection while high or middle income families can sign up for PhilSys through their gadgets.

“For Step 2, those who have provided biometrics, we are present in half of the provinces. We have finished 12.3 million as of a week ago,” he added. “And we have already started Step 3 for issuance of the actual ID to the people.”

Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the PhilSys Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.

The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.

It will also boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. (PNA)

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