Republic Act No. 11055, otherwise known as the Philippine Identification System Act, signed into law in August 2018, established the PhilSys as a foundational identification system for all citizens and resident aliens of the Republic of the Philippines. The valid proof of identity provided by the PhilSys shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, eliminating the need to present other forms of identification during transactions with both the government and the private sector. Further, the system shall be a social and economic platform through which all transactions including public and private services could be availed of and shall serve as the link in the promotion of seamless social service delivery and strengthening of financial inclusion. It also aims to contribute in enhancing administrative governance, reducing corruption, and promoting ease of doing business.
In its approved Implementation Plan dated 06 March 2019, the project framework has brought forward four (4) outcomes to contribute in achieving the abovementioned impact. This framework was anchored to the Ten Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development Towards the Digital Age1, zeroing in inclusion through universal coverage and accessibility, design that is robust, secure, responsive and sustainable, and governance that builds end-user trust by protecting privacy and user rights.
The project aims to provide inclusive coverage as it intends to register 112 million2 Filipino citizens and 10 million overseas Filipinos, with particular focus in enabling access to the most vulnerable groups such as the poor, people living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities. In order to achieve this, fixed registration centers will be established in strategic locations nationwide, complemented by the deployment of mobile registration teams in far-flung and hard-to-reach areas. The registration policies have also allowed for special arrangements among people without any documentary requirements to support their identity, removing barriers in accessing registration services brought about by the lack of identification documents.
As the foundational identification system of the Philippines, the project seeks to build end-user trust into its systems and processes and ensure that the data and rights of all citizens and resident aliens are protected from any means of exploitation. Strict data privacy policies and mechanism will be in place, including the establishment of a data governance framework to ensure accuracy and integrity of personal data throughout its life cycle within the PhilSys database. Registrant’s ownership of their personal data is a key feature of the system, with their ability to manage the use of their credentials and access their PhilSys transaction history through the web portal. Trust will further be built by implementing a wide-reaching and intensive information awareness campaign and placing effective feedback and grievance redressal mechanisms that will cater to any concerns of the public.
The PhilSys also aims to offer reliable, secure, efficient, and enabling identity authentication services through a wide array of public and private transactions within a digital ecosystem. This will utilize the PhilSys Number (PSN) as the primary credential, a unique number issued to all successfully registered individuals, to be complemented by the PhilSys ID (PhilID) with a corresponding PhilID Card Number (PCN) that can also be used in transactions. Multiple methods of authentication (i.e., Yes/No authentication, e-KYC, and OTP) and modes to promote convenience such as the introduction of virtual ID will be enabled at launch. As a way to ensure data privacy and protection within the digital ecosystem, backend PSN tokenization will also be enabled to hide the PSN as information from the authentication transaction is seeded to the databases of relying parties. Furthermore, a transition plan to shift the physical PhilID in favor of digital forms (i.e., virtual ID and mobile ID) will be developed and implemented as the system reaches its steady state.
A robust and sustainable PhilSys will be established by maintaining a strong governance of PhilSys and continuing strong cooperation and coordination among stakeholders in implementing the project through a whole-of-government approach. As a matter of priority, development of organizational structure and back-office business processes for the PhilSys that are fit-for-purpose will be quickly pursued, and that necessary technical and professional capacities of PSA staff are immediately built to enable the establishment of a strong and secured system and operations for PhilSys.
Major Procurement Blocks
As identified in the Implementation Plan, the PhilSys is required to secure five (5) major blocks of procurement as preliminary activities in the establishment of the ID system and as a pre-cursor to opening of registration to the public. In the interest of promoting cost-efficiency, interoperability, specialization by bidders, exchangeability, and full ownership of the PhilSys and its data, the PSA has decided to procure the main components of the PhilSys separately in four major blocks. In particular, these are the (1) Registration Kits, (2) Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), (3) Systems Integrator, and (4) Card Production.
Aside from the major blocks of procurement, it is important to note that the core identity system used in the implementation of PhilSys is the Modular Open Source Identification Platform (MOSIP). Modular in architecture and banks on open source, MOSIP primarily caters to the implementation of a digital, foundational identity system of governments and organizations. It provides flexibility on the implementation and configuration of systems and helps avoid vendor lock-in dependence. It enables countries to create a unique digital identity for individuals and to authenticate them in a secure way.
The procurement of core technology infrastructure is critical to the roll-out of a fully functional PhilSys ecosystem, utilized at its maximum by registered persons and relying parties alike. To date, the PhilSys Registry Office (PRO) has successfully procured registration kits and the ABIS for deduplication, and card production and personalization.
- Procurement Block #1: Registration kits. The PRO has procured a total of 5,000 registration kits containing a laptop with installed MOSIP registration system for biometric and demographic capturing, fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, document scanner, camera, printer, tripod, and light booth. A registration client is used to encode demographic data and capture biometric information of PhilSys applicants, which is designed to securely package collected information for transmission from the registration processor to the PhilSys back-end.
- Procurement Block #2: ABIS. The PRO has also successfully procured the ABIS for the provision of biometrics deduplication functions. As a multi-modal biometric matching solution, the system shall provide services on (a) 1:N matching for deduplication towards PSN generation and on (b) 1:1 matching for identity verification towards identity authentication. It will have its own database separate from the PhilSys database and is considered as an essential integrated component within the overall PhilSys solution.
- Procurement Block #3: Card production and personalization. The PSA is mandated to produce and issue the PhilIDs to all registered Filipino Citizens and registered aliens, thus, it needs to engage the services of a recognized government printer (RGP) to provide the printing services that meet the general card design and its security requirements and the target volume of cards for the entire project. The RGP shall also provide the PSA personalization and kitting machines to automate the printing and enveloping of the PhilIDs which must be ready for distribution to the intended recipient.
Procurement Block #4: Systems Integrator
The last component to complete the core technological infrastructure of the PhilSys project is the Systems Integrator (SI). As part of the requirements for the procurement of SI, the winning bid shall primarily be responsible in (1) customizing the MOSIP in line with PhilSys requirements and (2) integrating the registration kit application, ABIS, and card production components. The SI will also cover security and other protocols of the whole system, as well as the provision of infrastructure/hardware requirements.
The SI shall serve as the link to ensure that these major components are interconnected and communicate with one another for a seamless, fully-functioning PhilSys. In particular, the SI shall be an automated solution to the applications required by the PhilSys, and should further identify the operating environment, hardware, and software needs to run the systems. The SI shall address and define end-to-end processes of registration, pre-registration, PSN generation, and authentication available in MOSIP currently. The SI shall also cover analytics and dynamic monitoring, SLA monitoring, and card generation, among others. To sum, The SI shall primarily expand the MOSIP framework, provide the necessary hardware and software, add necessary functionalities to meet the PhilSys requirements, and operate the system.
As a complex technological component of the entire project, the PRO encourages potential bidders to start preparatory activities as soon as possible with reference to the technical documents that the PRO aims to release prior the dissemination of the Invitation to Bid/Request of Expression of Interest. Further, as a critical dependency for the roll-out, the SI procurement will strictly adhere to the set timelines. Hence, early preparations for the SI bid will ensure a seamless procurement process and delivery of services.
The procurement process is set to roll-out within May 2020 and is expected to be completed in 10 weeks. In time for the start of the opening of registration in October 2020, the first phase of delivery that will include registration requirements is due three (3) months from the Notice to Proceed which is targeted to be released by end of July 2020.
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
1 The principles were developed by more than 24 international organizations in 2017, including the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR.
2 Updated Projected Mid-Year Population for 2023 based on 2015 Census of Population, Philippine Statistics Authority; exact population estimate is 112,892,871.
See more at the Philippine Identification System (Philsys) main page.