President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday ordered the issuance of 30 million physical cards and 20 million digital IDs of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), with the ultimate goal of issuing 92 million by the middle of next year.
In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos said the target is to "accomplish the issuance of about 92 million IDs" by mid-2023, as this would enable Filipinos to "seamlessly transact with the government."
Marcos also pushed for the digitalization of all government records.
"The voluminous records stored in the government warehouses and archives have to be digitized," he said.
"Those that are already stored in various inventories of data should be harmonized and shared across departments and agencies," he added.
"Needless to say, these have to be kept in large data centers that are secure yet accessible. The National ID will play an important part in this digital transformation."
Last week, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said it has already delivered around 14 million national IDs as of July 8.
Data from the PSA showed that a 69,687,836 Filipinos have registered for the PhilSys. Of this number, 13,994,382 have received their ID cards.
Marcos, in his SONA, also mentioned the need to adapt to the rapid technology innovation around the globe.
Breakthrough technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, nano technologies, internet of things, robotics, self-driving electric vehicles, 3D printing, Virtual and Augmented Realities, among others will radically transform the way business is done, he said.
The President also said the Philippine government "cannot stand idly" with the scale and speed at which these innovations are being introduced universally.
"The mission of our Department of Information and Communications Technology is to identify and utilize these innovations to improve governance," he said.
Marcos said he wants the government transformed "into an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the needs of the public, provide good and solid data to ensure informed decision-making, as well as allow secure and seamless access to public services."
'Broadband ng Masa'
Marcos has directed the DICT to deploy digital connectivity across the country through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan and the common tower program that will be dubbed as the "Broadband ng Masa" project.
"All relevant modes of digital transport should be utilized. These may be through a combination of terrestrial or submarine fiber optics, wireless and even satellite technology," he said.
With the recent enactment of the Public Service Act, Marcos said more foreign direct investments are expected especially in the telecommunication sector.
"As our Public Service Act has opened the doors and removed the restrictions on foreign investment, we foresee an increase in direct investment of overseas players," he said.
"This will translate into better quality, availability and affordability of telecommunications services all over the country," he added. —KBK, GMA News