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PBBM closely monitoring nat’l ID project completion, says Secretary Balisacan

Arsenio Balisacan

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. wants a centralized national digital ID system that is available to all agencies and he has been monitoring closely the completion of the project.

“No less than the President has been monitoring closely the completion of this project. There has been some delays but…the problems are being addressed,” NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said in a Palace press briefing on Wednesday.

Balisacan said that the government has now agreed to the provision of the digital ID first before the distribution of physical IDs and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is spearheading the effort.

Initially, instead of shifting to digital ID, the NEDA chief said the government has left it as a second priority.

“But now, that has changed. We realized that we should first make those digital IDs so that anyone who has a phone can already use the digital ID and that is now the primary responsibility of the DICT,” he explained.

“There’s now an agreement between the Philippine Statistics Authority and the DICT to transfer the provision of digital ID to DICT while PSA will continue with its physical ID production and distribution.”

Balisacan reported that the government is more than halfway in the production of the physical IDs and wants to speed up the distribution of the same to provide everyone with the identification before the end of the year.

The national ID project completion is important because it will reduce transaction costs in government as well as in the private sector, the socioeconomic planning secretary said.

It will also allow the government to save a lot of resources under its social protection programs since many of the income transfers targeted for the poor do not end up with the intended beneficiaries because of the leakages.

With the digital ID, however, the ‘ayuda’ or transfer income support like the food stamp program of the Social Welfare department will now be delivered through the digital card with the use of the digital IDs.

“So, each one of us will have a unique ID, unique number and you can no longer tamper with that. So, wala na iyong nagdudoble iyong benefits na nari-receive or ghost beneficiary or mga ganoong klaseng issues,” Balisacan said. | PND

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