By Lee C. Chipongian
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will produce the country’s national identification (ID) card in a direct government-to-government (G2G) deal with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), according to the BSP chief.
BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the decision for the BSP’s printing of the national ID has been approved by the Monetary Board which he chairs.
“BSP’s role is to print the ID,” said Diokno.
He also said the PSA is solely in charge of the information contained in the national ID.
“The primary responsibility for administering the national ID system including the gathering of basic information rests with PSA. This arrangement will facilitate project implementation since it will be a G2G contract,” he said.
While in Bangkok, Thailand last week for a financial technology (fintech)-focus regional discussion, Diokno in his presentation said the BSP is now in the initial stages of implementing the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys.
He said the national ID will “provide Filipinos – especially the currently unserved – means to establish a verifiable digital identity which will enable them to open bank accounts, use financial services more efficiently, and gainfully participate in an increasingly digital economy.”
The government has a P2-3 billion budget for the PhilSys.
Malacañang has already announced that a pilot run will be implemented by September or October this year.
President Duterte signed the PhilSys Act or the national ID system law in mid-2018, with a view of registering 107 million IDs by the end of his term in 2022.
The BSP’s commitment to print the national ID is one of four ongoing infrastructure initiatives for the central bank.
The BSP is in-charge of the National Retail Payment System (NRPS), the implementation of the National Payment Systems Act, and the newly amended BSP Charter.
“The BSP is undertaking major infrastructure initiatives, mostly driven by national programs and recent issuance of landmark legal frameworks,” said Diokno in his speech before the Bali Fintech Agenda.
The NRPS is a BSP flagship program for a “safe, efficient, reliable, affordable and inclusive retail payment system” and it will promote a “cash-lite” economy.
The National Payment Systems Act which was made into a law also in 2018, gives the BSP powers and authority over the national payment systems in the Philippines.
“As payment is considered the first and most used financial service, its availability, accessibility, affordability, and security are crucial in building an inclusive financial system,” said Diokno. “Regular and continuing use of digital payments, especially by the unbanked, can unlock access to other forms of financial services.”
Another milestone for the BSP is its amended BSP Charter which was approved last February as Republic Act No. 11211, or An Act Amending Republic Act No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act.
The expanded BSP law allows it more power to ensure its corporate viability and “enhanced capabilities for proactive policy making.”
Under the new law, money service businesses, credit granting businesses and payment system operators are now officially supervised by the BSP.
Since the BSP will now take part in the national ID implementation, the BSP’s role in promoting a verifiable digital ID for digitalized economy seems ensured.