Everything You Need to Know about the National ID System

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The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia which heavily relies on governmental services. Thousands of simple and complex transactions in government sectors are done daily such as processing of legal documents, which is the most common transaction done daily in the country. In the data shown on the website of Trading Economics, the rank of the Philippines according to the latest World Bank annual ratings in 2018 dropped to 124 from 113 in the year 2017 in terms of ease of doing business. This lapse is one of the reasons why the national ID system was pushed through because it is one of the ways to have easier access to government programs and services.

According to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the national ID system boosts efficiency in gaining access to government services because people only have to present one ID in dealing with different public and private transactions. Amidst pandemic, they see the program serving its three major purposes including distribution of subsidy, efficient vaccine dissemination, and financial inclusion. The government aims to register 50 to 70 million individuals by the end of 2021. As of the first quarter of this year, there are already 15.08 million individuals who accomplished the first step of national ID registration which is providing their demographic information through Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) online portal and through printed application forms provided by their local government units.

What is National ID system?

The establishment of the national ID system rooted from its legal basis which is the Republic Act No. 11055, otherwise known as the Philippine Identification System Act. It aims to centralize the identification system so that only a single card will be used in all transactions in the country may it be a government or private institution. It also comes with unique PhilSys Number (PSN) as well as a reference number that will be used by PSA. Filipinos here and in abroad, dual citizens living in another country, and resident aliens are all eligible to get the national ID.

The ID is tamper-proof and includes a smart chip to store personal and unique information of the holder. His/her features will also be stored including iris scan, facial image reception code, and biometrics. Along with the course reference number are the government-issued identification numbers such as the following government IDs:

  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Voter’s registration
  • PhilHealth
  • SSS
  • Pag-IBIG

The PhilID is free but fees will be applied if it is needed to be replaced due to loss or damage but if a Certificate of Indigency will be presented, then the holder does not need to pay the fees. The IDs do not expire as long as you are a Filipino citizen, but alien residents only have one year validity. However, the PSA clarified that the national ID is not a replacement for other IDs because others have their own purposes.

What are the requirements?

Before going to the designated place where you will register for the national ID, make sure that you secured the copies of the requirements that you need to present. Below is the list of primary and secondary requirements that you need to prepare. You need to present at least one original copy of the following:

Primary Documents:

  • PSA-issued Certificate of Live Birth AND one (1) government-issued identification document which bears the full name, front-facing photograph, and signature or thumb mark.
  • DFA-issued Philippine Passport or ePassport;
  • GSIS or SSS-issued Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card (UMID);
  • Land Transportation Office (LTO)-issued Student’s License Permit or Non-Professional/Professional Driver’s License

Secondary Documents:

  • PSA-issued Certificate of Live Birth/NSO-issued Certificate of Live Birth with Birth Reference Number (BreN)
  • LCRO-issued Certificate of Live Birth
  • PSA-issued Report of Birth
  • PSA-issued Certificate of Foundling
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Identification Card
  • Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
  • Senior Citizen’s ID
  • SSS ID
  • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) ID
  • License to Own or Possess Firearms (LTOPF) ID
  • NBI Clearance
  • Police Clearance/ID
  • Solo Parent’s ID
  • PWD ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Postal ID
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) ID
  • Philhealth ID
  • Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)-issued Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV)
  • National ID from other countries
  • Residence ID from other countries

Aside from these, other supporting documents such as employee ID, barangay ID, city/municipal ID, school ID, and barangay clearance/certificate may also be considered as long as it has signature or thumbmark, photo, date of birth, full name, and complete permanent address. Source: https://www.philsys.gov.ph/supporting-documents/

Where to register?

The registration has already started on April 30 and since the PSA is in charge of the mass registration. Below are the public offices where you can register for your national ID:

  • Commission on Elections
  • Social Security System
  • Government Service Insurance System
  • PSA Regional Provincial Offices
  • Local Civil Registry Offices
  • Home Development Mutual Fund
  • Philippine Postal Corporation
  • Other government agencies as assigned by PSA

Usually, there is an appointment given to the registrants. Registration is sometimes held at city or municipal. For a faster pace and to cater more citizens, other LGUs decided to consider elementary schools as a venue for registration. This is also one of the ways to lessen the risk of acquiring the COVID-19. You could also access this site https://www.philsys.gov.ph/registration-center/.

Take note that you could only visit these registration centers if you are good to go for the Step 2 of the registration process. Walk-ins are not recommended not unless if there are available slots.

Three-step registration process

It is not a complicated process and since all the offices are following safety protocols, you do not have to wait too long during the registration because only limited registrants are allowed to go to registration centers in a particular day. To register, follow these three easy steps:

Step 1. Filling out of demographic information and booking your appointment.

Visit https://www.philsys.gov.ph/ and fill out all the necessary requirements that are being asked then submit. This would be your application form so you do not need to fill out a printed copy once you registered online. Book your appointment schedule and on your preferred date, you will accomplish the Step 2. Secure a copy of your Application Reference Number (ARN) or the QR code to be presented at the registration center.

Step 2. Verification and validation of demographic information and capture of biometric information.

Go to your designated registration center on the day of your appointment and present your ARN or QR code. Bring the original copies of requirements and present to the personnel who is in charge in the registration process. 

Step 3. Issuance of PhilID.

After the validation of your demographic information and registering your biometric information, you just now have to wait for the delivery of your PhilSys Number (PSN) and PhilID. Just present the transaction slip or any valid ID to the courier when claiming your PhilID.


Making our country a better place for a well-organized and convenient business transactions in all government offices is not a one-man show. It comprises of dedication and perseverance of people who are serving their fellow Filipinos. After all, it is a win-win situation for both the government and people because there will be less hassle, stress and conflicts. The PhilSys enables participation to digital government and digital economy which makes services more accessible, promotes ease of doing business, and giving Filipinos more control over their personal data. These visions of PhilSys contribute to nation-building but along with these goals is the great responsibility of protecting the data privacy of Filipinos, hence, data confidentiality must be the top priority.

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