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Acquiring national ID voluntary but highly encouraged —PSA exec

The public can choose whether or not to apply for a national ID although having one is encouraged, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Assistant Secretary Rosalinda Bautista on Thursday.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Bautista said the government highly encourages their application since the ID will be essential for all transactions in the future.

“Sa batas po natin, lahat po ng Pilipino at resident aliens natin dito sa Pilipinas, pati po ang Pilipino na nasa abroad, ay puwedeng mag-apply para sa national ID pero voluntary. Voluntary po kasi ito,” she said.

"Pero ini-encourage po namin ang pag-apply at pagkuha ng national ID...Dadating po tayo doon sa time na lahat ng transaksyon sa government ay hihingian na po ng national ID ang isang tao,” she added.

The national ID system seeks to harmonize, integrate, and interconnect the countless and redundant government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.

On Wednesday, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said majority of Filipinos should have the national ID by 2022.

Bautista said the implementation of the national ID system is still under Step 1, where registration officers will conduct house-to-house visits to low-income families.

The families are chosen from 40 provinces which ranked the lowest in Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES).

The PSA is initially focusing on 32 provinces because the rest are high-risk areas for COVID-19.

On Step 2, the heads of low income families will have to go to registration centers in their municipalities to fill out forms.

The issuance of the national ID is Step 3.

According to Bautista, low-income families were prioritized so they can have better access to services like banking, which usually requires many government-issued IDs and documents.

The PSA is targeting to register at least five million individuals by the end of 2020. —KBK, GMA News