MANILA – A mall chain is now accepting Philippine Identification (PhilID) or the national ID card in transactions in its business centers.
The SM Supermalls said it will start accepting PhilID cards as proof of identity of its clients when transacting for foreign currency exchange, remittance services, and credit cards.
This, as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), has partnered with the SM Prime Holdings pushing the adoption of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project for the verification of an individual's identity.
National Statistician and PSA undersecretary Dennis Mapa said the partnership aims to promote seamless financial inclusion to all Filipinos.
“The action of SM Groups to accept the PhilID as a valid ID for a financial service they offer is a big leap for PhilSys, as this will achieve our goal of providing easier, safer, and more secure access to services to the public," Mapa said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mapa said the use of PhilID, which can be acquired by signing to the PhilSys project, will provide opportunities for the government, and even private, to provide convenient transaction services to the people.
"As we continue to work in solidarity with SM Prime Holdings, we at the PSA, commit to giving Filipinos more convenient access to private and public transactions,” he added.
Meanwhile, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said PhilSys will further improve the mall's financial transaction services.
“The PhilID will boost the efficiency of transacting inside our Mall and retail partners when availing of services and products. Since June 2021, individuals who exchange foreign banknotes through any SM Store branch nationwide have the option to present their PhilID as a single valid identifying document during the transaction,” Tan said.
Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the government has also opened several PhilSys registration centers allowing for the second phase PhilSys registration process in selected SM malls nationwide.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo 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, enrolment 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 the PhilID during transactions.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine Postal Corporation, and the Department of Foreign Affairs have already recognized the use of PhilID cards as a valid proof of identity of their clients in transacting with their services.
Also, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is currently running a pilot test for the use of PhilSys in its various social services such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.
Pursuant to the law, Mapa earlier urged more national line agencies and the private sector to partner with the PSA in bolstering "speedy transactions and swift provision of public services" in the country.