President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night praised the start of online registration of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) on April 30.
This, after National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Chua apologized anew for “technical difficulties” that marred the pilot registration via the online portal for national ID registration.
“I have conveyed my sincerest apologies to the Filipino people for the inconvenience at ngayon po kausap namin araw-araw ang mga (and now we are speaking with) international and local experts para matulungan tayo na iimprove yung capacity. Dahil ito ay isang pilot (to help us improve the capacity. Because this is a pilot), we will make sure to learn from our experience,” Chua told Duterte in a pre-recorded meeting with core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Malacañang.
Duterte allayed Chua’s concern, saying he appreciated the effort to push through with the pilot registration despite encountering problems on the online portal.
“This is something which has been the dream of every administrator in government. I congratulate you. Do not worry. You have your precious time to the people. Saludo ako diyan (I salute that),” Duterte replied.
Duterte recalled how past administrations have attempted to implement some form of national ID systems but failed due to protests from the Left.
“Matagal na talagang gusto natin ‘yan, ang problema ang una (We wanted to have a national ID system a long time ago, but the problem is first, the loudest you could hear at the time was the Left. Ayaw nila kasi (They disapprove of it because) it will identify [them]. May syndrome e, may syndrome sila so di natin masisisi (They have a syndrome so we can’t blame them),” he said.
Chua said the website, which is designed to accommodate 16,000 simultaneous users per minute, peaked at 35,000.
He said some 46,000 Filipinos, or three times the normal capacity, wanted to register at the same time in the first minute.
As a result, many were not served as the system experienced slowness and downtime, he added.
He also thanked Filipinos who have registered and are waiting to be registered for the national ID.
“Yung pagdagsa po nila sa registration last April 30 online ay isang patunay na maraming Pilipino ang may gustong kumuha ng national ID at pag may national ID na po sila ay mabibigyan pa natin sila ng mas maraming serbisyo at matutulungan natin yung recovery ng ating bansa (The influx of people in registration last April 30 is a proof that many Filipinos want to get a national ID and if they have a national ID, we can give them more services and we can help the recovery of our country,” he said.
In 2018, Duterte signed Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
Economic managers have said the national ID would help hasten the distribution of aid, broaden access to financial services, and streamline the Covid-19 vaccination program. (PNA)