GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) has expanded the registration sites for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) as it targets to enlist around 2 million residents by year-end.
Lawyer Maqtahar Manulon, PSA-Region 12 director, said on Tuesday they have fully deployed the processing machines and established registration centers in all 49 municipalities and cities in the region.
These are on top of the PhilSys registration sites that they opened in major shopping malls, with the latest only launched on Monday at the Mall of Ace Centerpoint in Koronadal City.
He said the enlistment up to Step 2 has been running smoothly and they are working on further fast-tracking the process to accommodate more residents.
As of the second week of July, Manulon said they already registered and processed around 188,000 individuals, a significant increase from the 56,943 as of June 30.
He said such accomplishment is still “way below their target” for this year as it comprised just about 9 percent of the goal of 2 million.
“But that’s understandable because we have just deployed the machines and the others were temporarily placed on standby due to the situation (at) the local level,” Manulon said in a radio interview.
He was referring to the surge of locally transmitted coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in various localities in the region in the last three months.
The official said the overall implementation is “so far, so good” and they remain on track to accomplish the 2 million target by the end of the year, which is about “45 to 47 percent” of the region’s population.
Soccsksargen has a total population of 4,901,486 based on the 2020 census, up from 4,545,276 in 2015.
PSA-12 registered a total of 1,303,250 residents in the first phase of the PhilSys rollout from Jan. 18 to April 30.
It involved the house-to-house Step 1 registration or collection of demographic information of eligible “poorest of the poor” household heads.
The registration up to Step 2, which now covers other residents, includes the validation of identification through various documents and capture of biometric information.
Manulon assured that their people are carefully validating the data of the registered individuals by matching them with other existing records in their database.
“If they have no duplicate and considered unique, that’s the time that we will assign them a PhilSys serial number,” he said.
He added that those who already completed the Step 2 process are now in line for the release of their PhilSys identification or ID cards, which is under Step 3.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System 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)