PSA hits 9M national ID registrants, eyes database use for vaccine distribution

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 17) — The target to register 9 million Filipinos under the national ID system has been reached mid-December, with the National Economic and Development Authority looking to get another 1 million people on board in the next two weeks.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua on Thursday said there are 9.004 million registered as of December 14. The agency is now eyeing 10 million people to complete the first of three steps to join the Philippine Identification System, starting with the submission of personal data to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The target for 2021 is likewise hiked to 70 million following the infusion of additional funds for the national government.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved another ₱3.52 billion for the PSA so it can add 20 million more to the national ID system.

The higher target is meant to hit two birds with one stone, as the government wants more people to have IDs so they can open bank accounts and transact electronically, and to double as a COVID-19 vaccination database.

"With such a big database that we will be collecting, it would be useful to use that to ensure the vaccines are distributed properly because in some cases, you will need more than one shot," Chua said.

"You will have to keep track of those people who you have given a dose and those you will need to give a second dose, and so on... This is still under discussion but the potential is very good," he added.

READ: Galvez bares PH coronavirus vaccine distribution plan

Pre-registration for the national ID system began in October. This will be followed by step 2 that involves physically reporting to registration centers to submit fingerprints and iris scans, and the eventual release of the ID cards to be printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The government wants to get 92 million Filipinos on board the national ID system by the end of Duterte's term in 2022, even with challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.