This Advisory is being issued to clarify provisions of the earlier disseminated Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Advisory dated 23 August 2021, specifically:
“...the PSA acknowledges that there will be challenges and inertia as service providers transition from traditional practice to the digital method of identity verification enabled by the PhilSys… [thus] while the QR code, biometric, and SMS OTP authentication methods are yet to be fully operational, service providers or individual staff may still consider doing traditional methods of identity verification and may inadvertently request an ID with a handwritten signature. However, service providers can immediately begin using the physical security features, which are superior to a handwritten signature, for their offline verification…”
The provision referred thereto is in a narrative context acknowledging situations that are likely to happen upon the transition brought about by digital mode of identity verification enabled by the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). The same clause shall, in no circumstances, justify the discretion of service providers in requesting a secondary ID in addition to the PhilID.
Anent the non-inclusion of a handwritten signature in the PhilID, this is in keeping with the goal of the PhilSys to build a digital and interoperable platform for identity verification. The said non-inclusion of a handwritten signature in the PhilID was deliberate and aligns with the national ID system of various countries. Traditional processes which depend on paper forms, photocopies of IDs, and wet signatures are prone to inefficiency and fraud. Furthermore, consideration was given to individuals who cannot make handwritten signatures, which is why some forms had an alternative of a thumbmark. Accordingly, with the transition to digital systems, the PhilSys offers various physical security features, digital authentication, and biometric verification of the PhilID for the highest level of assurance and security.
In consonance with Executive Order (EO) No. 162, s. 2022,1 this Advisory shall also serve as a reiteration of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11055 or the “PhilSys Act”, which provides for the acceptance of PhilID as an official government-issued identification document and thus, shall constitute sufficient and valid proof of identity, to wit:
Section 7(c)(2). Purpose. The PhilID shall serve as the official government-issued identification document of cardholders in dealing with all national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), GOCCs, government financial institutions (GFIs), and all private sector entities.
Section 12. Authentication. - For [the] purpose of establishing proof of identity for transacting business with any government agency, the presentation of the PhilID or PSN shall constitute sufficient proof thereof, subject to proper authentication. Private entities are likewise mandated to accept the PhilID or PSN as valid proof of identity under the same terms and conditions as above: Provided, That when authentication cannot be performed, without any fault on the part of the cardholder or holder of a PSN, the PSA shall ensure that he or she will not be disadvantaged or prejudices thereby.
Section 13. Use of the PhilID/PSN. The PhilID shall be honored and accepted, subject to authentication, in all transactions requiring proof or verification of citizens or resident aliens' identity, such as but not limited to:
(j) Opening of bank accounts and other transactions with banks and other financial institutions
The foregoing provisions are in line with the objectives of the PhilSys Act which aims to: (1) establish a single national identification system; (2) provide a valid proof of identity for all citizens and resident aliens as a means of simplifying public and private transactions, and (3) eliminate the need to present other forms of identification when transacting with the government and the private sector, subject to appropriate authentication measures based on a biometric identification system.
Further, please be advised that Section 19 of the same Act penalizes any person or entity who, without just and sufficient cause, shall refuse to accept, acknowledge, and/or recognize the PhilID as the official identification of the holder/possessor thereof with a fine amounting to Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP 500,000.00).
For your information and guidance.
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
1 EO No. 162, s. 2022: Institutionalizing the Acceptance of the Philippine Identification or Philippine Identification System Number as Sufficient Proof of Identity and Age in All Government and Private Transactions