Filipinos can download a digital version of their National ID on their mobile phone

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) pushes for a digital ID system where Filipinos can download a digital version of their National ID on their mobile phone. Filipinos are supposed to only need their 12-digit PhilSys Number (PSN) to access their digital national ID and use it for their transactions.

Lisa Grace Bersales, civil registrar general of the PSA,shared that the original plan was not about the physical card. PSA was proposing for a digital ID system. However, the Senate disagreed with the proposition saying that Filipinos need a physical representation of the national ID. A physical card can be used for basic levels of authentication such as the entrance to a building.

Thus, under the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System, Filipinos and resident alien (foreigners who have been staying in the country for over 180 days) will be issued a card as an official proof of identification.

However, Bersales revealed that PSA is still pushing for the digital aspect of PhilSys. In a few years, Filipinos will be able to access their mobile ID through their smartphones. PSA hopes that this will become possible in three years’ time. Eventually, the digital National ID will be replacing the physical ID inmost transactions in the Philippines.

On the other hand, both physical and digital IDs are expected to uplift the current problems of Filipinos who have difficulty accessing important government services due to lack of proper identification documents. The 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey sighted that one reason why many Filipinos are not too keen on opening a bank account and getting other financial services is the lack of proper documentary requirements.

PSA aims to provide every Filipino a unique randomly generated PSN and a physical ID by 2023 prioritizing under privileged communities.



The ratification of the Philippine Identification System(PhilSys) Act of 2018 aims to smoothen the Filipino’s dilemma with acquiring proper identification cards and documents. The National ID will be designed as the main ID of Filipinos and resident aliens.

The Philippine National ID will be officially called as PhilID. This will contain your PhilSys Number (PSN), full name, date of birth,permanent address, facial image, and fingerprint information.

The PSN will be randomly generated, permanent, and unique to every citizen. This is generated upon registration or birth in the Philippines.

The bill has officially mandated the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to serve as the custodian of the PhilSys registry.

This means PSA will oversee the registration and maintenance of the system. Add to that,PSA needs to design a physical ID with safety features to avoid creation of counterfeits.

This is why PSA proposed to utilize seven kinds of security measures on the national IDs.

Overlapping geometric patterns will be used. The guillocheis the intricate repetitive and overlapping patterns we usually see inpassports, IDs, driver’s license, and banknotes.

A colorful patterned background will also be produced through rainbow printing and will require laser engraving that only specialized printers and equipment can produce.

Moreover, the fractal-based system will also be utilized to add the biometric features or private information such as the fingerprint. This information is engraved in lines with varying thickness.

PSA also proposed to use the transparent patch program. This is the secondary copy of the main image in the IDs.

These proposed security measures are yet to be finalized, however, PSA will be tasked to design an ID that will be hard to counterfeit.Add to that, PSA will be integrating the national ID into a digital mobile ID which Filipinos can easily access through their mobile phones.