This year the Best New National ID Card award went to the Philippines for the Philippines national ID card PhilID and the underlying national ID system PhilSys.

The scheme, signed into law in 2018 and rolled out in 2020, creates a central identification platform for all citizens and resident foreigners in the Philippines and does away with the need to claim and present various government-issued IDs for personal and financial transactions. It has been particularly designed to enhance the delivery of basic services to the public as well as prevent crimes and expedite transactions in the private sector.

The PhilSys collects the full name, sex, date and place of birth, blood type, address, and whether or not the person is a Filipino or resident alien capturing one’s photo, full set of fingerprints, and an iris scan. Once registered, residents get a 12-digit PhilSys number which serves as their digital identity across multiple applications, and their PhilID card.

The PhilID will eventually replace all other government-issued identification except the passport, driver’s licence and Profession Regulation Commission ID. The card shall be honoured and accepted as the official government-issued identification document of a person for his or her transactions in all national government agencies, local government units (LGUs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), financial institutions, and private sector.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the government body responsible for card issuance and system implementation, its objective to speed up the issuance of ID cards to enable citizens enjoy the benefits of the Philippine Identification System.  Over 50 million physical and national digital ID cards have been produced and issued so far.