On September 17, 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the latter’s adoption of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) for the identification and verification of beneficiaries for various social welfare programs.
The MOA covers a pilot test of the PhilSys in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, as well as the three-year gradual integration of PhilSys API-enabled services into all DSWD programs.
“The PSA recognizes the partnership with the DSWD as a breakthrough in giving a more strengthened financial inclusivity for public services as it will allow PhilSys to achieve one of its goals, that is to quickly deliver services to the public through the programs under the DSWD. As the PhilSys continues to expand its implementation, may this partnership encourage other government agencies and private institutions to work hand-in-hand with the PSA to provide the public with easier access to other various private and government services,”Dennis S. Mapa, Ph.D., PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, stated.
The 4Ps are the Philippines’ national poverty reduction strategy and flagship safety net program, which was established by Republic Act No. 11310. Its goal is to invest in the health and education of children from low-income families, and it currently assists over four million households in the country.
Meanwhile, the AICS is a component of the DSWD’s protective services for marginalized individuals and families recovering from unexpected crisis situations, such as the death of a family member.
Both of these programs highlight the DSWD’s goal of serving low-income households by providing assistance in addition to cash transfers, medical care, and other forms of assistance. The PSA-DSWD collaboration in these programs establishes DSWD as the first national government agency to use PhilSys to identify and verify its beneficiaries, laying a critical foundation for the national scale-up of PhilSys-enabled services.
According to DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista,
“With the PhilSys-enabled services adopted in the said programs, we strive to promote seamless service delivery in order to improve the efficiency, and transparency of our social protection programs. It is also a step towards financial inclusion for our beneficiaries and clients. The PhilSys ID, as a valid proof of identity, is easily accessible to everyone. It opens a lot of opportunities for the unbanked poor and vulnerable sectors particularly on easier registration with the bank and other financial institutions of their choice, therefore expanding their access to social and financial services.”
By implementing PhilSys, DSWD will be able to improve its social protection delivery and the overall experience of its beneficiaries. The advantages of adopting PhilSys include digitizing and streamlining DSWD beneficiary registration, establishing a United Beneficiary Database (UBD), identifying and removing duplicate or ghost beneficiaries, and enabling financial inclusion and digital payments.
This includes using biometric verification through the PhilSys and offline verification through the PhilSys ID (PhilID) card; enrolling future beneficiaries into programs using PhilSys e-KYC; and uniquely identifying beneficiary records by seeding PhilSys Number (PSN) tokens.
As a result, the DSWD will be able to provide benefits to intended beneficiaries more quickly while also preventing fraud and leakages. This also means that the DSWD will be better prepared to respond to future crises and natural disasters. Simultaneously, with a streamlined process, program beneficiaries will find social assistance services much more accessible.
DSWD program beneficiaries who have not yet registered with PhilSys may do so by going to https://register.philsys.gov.ph and completing Step 1 Registration, or collecting demographic information and booking an appointment for Step 2. Step 2 Registration entails verifying the registrants’ demographic information and collecting their biometric data. The PSA is gradually opening more registration centers across the country in order to make this step accessible to more Filipinos. The issuance of the unique and private PhilSys Number (PSN) and the physical PhilID card is the final step in PhilSys registration.
PSA advises registrants to keep their 12-digit PSNs safe because they contain highly sensitive information, and to instead use their 16-digit PhilSys Card Number (PCN) printed on the face of the card.