BSP’s Diokno shows sample of National ID card

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2020   •   692

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday said its ready to produce the cards for the national identification system.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno issued the statement as the central bank printed samples of the ID card and showed a glimpse of it in an image he posted on his Twitter account.

“Finally, the BSP is ready to print the #NationalID. We inspected the machines that will print the IDs this morning. The machines have the capacity to print 154,000 cards per day,” Diokno said in his tweet.

The central bank has been tasked to print the ID cards. It signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Statistics Authority to produce blank cards for IDs under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

Under the agreement, the BSP shall produce 116 million cards over a period of three years. The cards, which are non-transferable, will be issued to all Philippine citizens and for resident aliens registered under the PhilSys.

The printing of the ID cards will cost a total of P3.4 billion out of the total cost of P30 billion of the PhilSys project.

The card will become the official proof of identity for each Filipino and is seen to eliminate the need for providing two government IDs when transacting with companies or financial institutions.

It will contain the PhilSys number of each person, his or her name, facial image, sex, address, date of birth, and blood type. It will also contain information such as fingerprints.

“The national ID system has been decades in the making. We look forward to bringing it to the Filipino people to promote financial inclusion and digitalization,” Diokno said.

The PSA has already started the process of registration for the first 9 million low-income households in 32 provinces.

The registration for residents in Metro Manila and other areas will start next year.

The PSA earlier said the registration is voluntary but they would recommend for Filipinos to go through the process as the national ID can help expedite the delivery of government services and assistance to poor families.

The PSA is looking to complete the registration and issue the national ID before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.

BSP urged to probe banks allegedly violating debt moratorium

Robie de Guzman   •   February 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to investigate “erring” banks and ensure compliance with the provisions under two laws passed to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatchalian made the call as he expressed concern over the reported non-compliance of some banks on the debt moratorium.

He pointed out that as the country’s regulator of the banking industry, the BSP is mandated to ensure that banks and credit card issuers strictly follow the laws and protect the consumers’ interests as provided for in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1) and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

The senator said the BSP should exercise its supervisory and regulatory powers over these erring banks by enforcing the provisions of the Bayanihan Laws as he noted the mounting complaints on consumer credit card received by the central bank.

“A kid gloves treatment will do no good at this time. Everyone is having a hard time financially and they should do their share as dictated upon by the law,” he said in a statement.

Last January 14, the BSP issued a circular letter ordering all banks to strictly comply with the prevailing regulations on credit cards and financial consumer protection as well as those under the Bayanihan laws.

Section 4 of the Bayanihan 2 requires banks to implement a non-extendible mandatory one-time 60-day grace period to all loans of individuals and entities that are existing, current and outstanding falling due on or before December 31, 2020.

“We anticipated that some loans would accrue interests because the party concerned has defaulted and that’s precisely the reason why we introduced these provisions in the laws, to protect the consumers amid the global health pandemic,” Gatchalian said.

“Huwag naman po sana tayong maging ganid para lang lumaki ang kita o tubo sa mga pinautang. Hindi tama na manantala sa mga taong gipit na lalo na kung nakasaad na ito sa batas. Dapat pairalin natin ang bayanihan sa gitna ng pandemya,” he added.

He further appealed to banks to instead help in the government’s efforts to recover from the economic slump amid the pandemic.

Duterte registers for PH identification system

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has personally registered with the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), photos from Malacañang showed.

In photos shared to reporters late Thursday, Duterte can be seen having his biometric information taken by a personnel from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Duterte’s former aide, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea were also photographed having themselves registered into the national ID system.

The PhilSys Act, which Duterte signed into law in August 2018, seeks to harmonize and integrate several government IDs by establishing a single national identification system for all citizens and resident aliens through the collection of basic personal information and biometric data.

The ID will contain the PhilSys number of each person, his or her name, facial image, sex, address, date of birth, and blood type. It will also contain information such as fingerprints.

The PSA has already started last year the process of registration for the first 9 million low-income households in 32 provinces.

The registration for residents in Metro Manila and other areas is expected to begin this year.

Duterte and his Cabinet earlier approved a P3.53 billion additional budget for 2021 to register 20 million more individuals, on top of the 50 million target, into the national ID system.

The PSA is looking to complete the registration and issue the national ID before the end of Duterte’s term in 2022. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

BSP assures execs facing graft raps before Ombudsman will answer in proper forum

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday assured that its officials who are facing graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman will respond in an appropriate forum.

The complaint, filed by Ricardo Fulgencio IV of Stop Corruption Organization of the Philippines, accused BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and officials of central bank’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of granting P1.75-billion contract to Allcard International sans public bidding for the implementation of the national identification system.

Aside from Diokno, Prudence Angelita Kasala, Rogel Joseph del Rosario, Carl Cesar Bibat, Marianne Santos, Salvador del Mundo, and Giovanni Israel Joson were also named as respondents to the complaint.

“As regards the complaint filed with the Ombudsman relative to the procurement for the printing of cards for the National ID System, rest assured that the BSP officials concerned will respond in the proper forum once required in accordance with applicable rules,” the BSP said in a statement.

Fulgencio said the bidding process for equipment and materials for the Philippine Identification cards was flawed because the BAC of the BSP Security Plant Complex, which is in charge of procuring materials for the cards, required all bidders to procure raw materials, such as diffractive optically variable image device (DOVID) and polycarbonate sheets, from OVD Kinegram.

The complainant said this requirement is prohibited by procurement laws as it shows a specific reference to a brand name.

“[The] respondents’ act of requiring the bidders to procure their raw materials from OVD Kinegram AG effectively gave the latter private party, unwarranted benefits. The respondents’ preference to Kinegram deprived other DOVID suppliers of the opportunity to bid for the project and robbed the government of getting the most advantageous terms for the supply of such raw materials,” the complaint read.

“Clearly, this is a corrupt practice. Henceforth, it is respectfully prayed before this Honorable Office that after the requisite preliminary investigation, criminal information against the herein respondents be filed before the Sandiganbayan,” it added.

Despite the complaint, the BSP said that it supports the rollout of the National ID as it is key to wider financial inclusion that promotes shared economic growth and the financial wellbeing of Filipinos.

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