Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced that the country’s “Phil ID” will be made available soon.
BSP Governor Diokno said the Phil ID will soon be available and attributed this to the real and urgent need for a digital identification system during the pandemic.
He added that financial digitization will be complemented with the implementation of the Philippine National Identification system (PhilSys), “which will happen soon”.
Coronavirus pandemic and national ID system
In a recent forum, Diokno explained: “The (pandemic) crisis has highlighted the importance of having a comprehensive and reliable database of citizens. For one, it is imperative for the effective rollout of welfare benefits and other services.”
“Once the national ID system is in place, all Filipinos will have a reliable and nationally accepted proof of identity,” he added.
Earlier last month, the BSP governor said that the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) is aiming to register around five million low income households for the national ID in the fourth quarter of this year.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the BSP was scheduled to produce all 116 million national ID cards at a cost of P30 each, for a total f P3.4 billion.
Addressing the issues of the unbanked
According to Diokno, the implementation of the Phil ID will help solve the issues of getting unbanked Filipinos to join the banking system.
He pointed out: “(They) will have a proof of identity, which is a KYC (Know Your Customer) requirement in opening a bank account. As such, access to financial services will be easier and more people can actively participate in the country’s economic activities.”
The latest data has shown that there are 51.2 million unbanked adults in the Philippines.
Diokno also emphasized that digitalization will boost access to financial services, particularly in remote areas where banks do not have branches.
Increasing digital financial transactions
The quarantine measures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in an increase in digital financial transactions.
According to the BSP, around our million digital accounts were created between March 17 the start of the enhanced community quarantine, until April 30. Usage of electronic fund transfer systems PESONet and InstaPay has also increased.