President Rodrigo Duterte has approved an additional P3.52 billion in funding for the national ID system for 2021, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

The additional budget would be used to register 20 million more individuals to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) by the end of 2021, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

PhilSys had targeted to register only 50 million Filipinos.

Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11055, or the PhilSys Act, in August 2018.

It seeks to “establish a single national identification system… for all citizens and resident aliens of the [Philippines] to promote seamless delivery of service, to improve the efficiency, transparency, and targeted delivery of public and social services, to enhance administrative governance, to reduce corruption and curtail bureaucratic red tape to avert fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations to strengthen financial inclusion and to promote ease of doing business. ”

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is mandated to lead the PhilSys, with support from the PhilSys policy and coordination board composed of the National Economic and Development Authority and other government agencies.

Registering in the national ID system is not required. John Ezekiel J. Hirro