Expats And The Philippine National ID

Expats And The Philippine National ID

The Philippine National ID, Also Know As The PhilSys ID, Is Coming

PhilSys ID mass enrollment of all Filipino citizens and resident aliens is projected to run from mid-2020 to mid-2022. 

This will be Philippines' fourth attempt at establishing a national ID.

What does this mean for foreigners who are living in the Philippines?

Foreigners can use their ACR-I card to get a Philsys ID, but why would they?

Section 3 of the IRR of the PhilSys ID Law states that the PhilSys ID will be required:
a. to establish a single identification system for all citizens and resident aliens.
This is my assumption at this point, but the statement above also appears to indicate that the PhilSys ID will totally replace the ACR-I card. This may not be the case due to the following statement from the Philippine Statistics Authority:
The PhilID, however, does not and will not replace existing government identification cards that serve a purpose beyond identity authentication, such as the driving license (for driving), passport (for travel), and UMID (for social security transactions), etc. 
Although the ACR-I card is not explicitly listed above, it seems that it will be one of those exceptions. And if this is the case, then it really looks like paying twice for the same thing from an expat's point of view. But the truth about this subject remains to be seen and there may be other as yet unknown uses for the card that make it seem less redundant.

As for what this new ID will cost, Section 6.c.(3) Fees states that aliens will have to pay a fee for the card, but the fee is not yet determined.

Where To Get The PhilSys ID

The Philippine Statistics Authority is in charge of the PhilSys ID project, and lists the following locations for individuals to apply for the new ID:
  • PSA Regional and Provincial Offices
  • Local Civil Registry Offices (LCROs)
  • Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
  • Social Security System (SSS)
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
  • Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
  • Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
  • Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost)
  • Other government agencies and GOCCS as may be assigned by PSA


The information that expats will have to give for the PhilSys ID is much the same as what has been required for the ACR-I card. the old ACR cards showed the blood type right on the card. Blood type is no longer shown on the card, but the question is still on the application. One requirement that I do not recall for the ACR card, but which is required for the PhilSys ID is the inclusion of a retinal scan.

The Bottom Line 

What the Philsys ID actually means for expats, what it will cost and many other details about the program remain to be seen. Hopefully it will be a good thing for expats and others. Will it be?

1 comment:

Peter said...

My wife has a friend who works in government. He tells us the ACR card is not going away.

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