PSA- Palawan admin officer Romelita Hernandez during the online Kapihan sa PIA on Wednesday |Photo courtesy of Orlan Habagat

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is expecting to begin by April its online registration for the national identification card or the National ID system.

Romelita Hernandez, PSA-Palawan administrative officer 1, said during the virtual Kapihan organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that they are now in the process of creating the web portal for online registration.

“Ngayon ay wino-work out na matapos ang web portal para sa mga hindi nakarehistro. Ang target nyan ay this April. Tatlong process ‘yan – una ‘yong ginawa dito sa atin na assisted device-data collectors, then biometrics or online registration then ang pag-issue na ng ID,” Hernandez said.

She added that those who have already completed the first step of registration will be informed once the biometrics is ready.

“Sa mga nakarehistro na ay itago lang nila ang kanilang appointment reference number,” she said.

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The (PSA) has already completed the registration of more than 199,000 Palaweños under the program. Hernandez stated that as of Tuesday, they have surpassed their target number for Palaweños to be registered for national ID.

She said they have been conducting “assisted” registration in Palawan since January 25 because the online registration is not yet available.

“Our target in Palawan, including Puerto Princesa City, is 181, 440 but as of yesterday mayroon na pong 199,320. Dito sa tinatawag na assisted ay may mga data collectors tayo na pumupunta sa bawat barangay. Priority din natin ang mga lugar na wala halos connectivity. ‘Yong Culion lang ang hindi na-cover dahil nagahol sa time pero ongoing pa ngayon ang island towns kagaya ng Cuyo, Araceli, Dumaran, Magsaysay,” Hernandez said.

She said the registration started in the last quarter of 2020 in 32 provinces including the MIMAROPA provinces.

Hernandez said that the national government is targeting some 41 million registrants from 2020 to 2023.

“From 2022 to 2023 ang ating road map kaya tuloy tuloy yan. Ang registration ay hati-hati yan. By 2021 dapat maregister ang 41 million hanggang 2023,” she said.

Hernandez explained that the ID system is not mandatory, but Filipinos who do not register may experience difficulty in transacting and availing government social benefits.

“Para mapadali ang pag-apply sa welfare at benefits ng pamahalaan, pagkuha ng mga passports at (iba pang) transactions. Mapapabilis na at hindi na kailangan na maraming ipapakita. Isa na lang ang ipapakita na magpapatunay na ikaw ‘yon. Hindi pilitan pero ang problema kapag wala kang ganito at nagkaroon ng mga kailangan like pag-distribute ng social services ay magkakaproblema,” she said.

As of now, there are around 600,000 IDs that are ready for printing.

“Yong issuance ng card ay depende kasi gumagawa po ng registration para maiwasan ang double registration. Ang Bangko Sentral ang magpo-produce ng ID then ang PhilPost ang magde-deliver. May 600,000 na ready for production/printing from the 32 provinces noong last quarter ng 2020,” she added.

“Libre ito sa unang issuance pero kapag nawala or nasira ay may bayad na. Kung ikaw (naman) ay resident alien ay wala pang advice kung magkano. Wala din itong expiration,” she said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.