What You Need To Know about the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys)

Good news! Applicants for the country’s National ID System may be able to register online starting April 30, Friday, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Chua said on Tuesday.

Chua said NEDA will launch its online system which will collect demographic data of those who will apply for the national ID, which has been defined as a valid proof of identity and is expected to simplify public and private transactions, enrollment in schools and opening of bank accounts.

But before anything else, let’s explore what you need to know about Philippine Identification System or the PhilSys

What is the Philippine Identification System?

The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) is the government’s central identification platform that aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens. It was established under the Philippine Identification System Act or Republic Act 11055.

Signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in August 2018, its purpose is to establish a foundational digital ID System for easier accessibility and application of eligibility to social welfare programs and benefits from the government as well as enable the country to move away from inefficient and expensive physical documents, processes and credentials to the use of digital equivalents.

Components of PhilSys

The Philippine Identification System has three components to maximize data security and effectiveness. These are:

  • PhilSys Number (PSN) – which is the registrant’s randomly generated and permanent identification number. The PSN contains highly sensitive data and should remain confidential. It will be the standard number for the individual across all agencies of the government.
  • Phil ID – a non-transferable card that shall preferably be issued to all citizens or resident aliens registered under the PhilSys subject to the guidelines to be issued by the PSA.
  • PhilSys Registry – This contains the PSN, registered records, and information of all persons registered in the PhilSys. The PSA, as a repository and custodian of all data, shall create and maintain this registry.


As mentioned, the Philippine Identification Card (PhilID) is a nontransferable identification that can be used to transact with the government and private sector. The PhilID for Filipinos has no expiration date, whereas the PhilID issued to resident aliens is only valid for one (1) year.

The PhilID is free of charge for the initial issuance for Filipinos. However, the fee shall only apply for the replacement of the PhilID due to damage or loss. Plus, holders of Certificate of Indigency are exempted from the said fee as long as they present their certificate.

Features of PhilSys ID

PhilSys ID Features

Who are eligible to apply?

All Filipino citizens are automatically eligible to register in PhilSys and get a national ID, including the following:

  • Overseas Filipino Workers and dual citizens living abroad
  • Foreign nationals living in the Philippines for over six months

How does it work?

With PhilSys, the person should declare his or her name according to his or her birth certificate, photograph, gender, blood type, and signature. The ID will come with its unique serial number, which will be called the Philsys Number (PSN). The reference number will be issued by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PhilSys, however, will NOT replace any existing functional IDs that serve other purposes. For example, a passport is a travel document and a driving license is proof that someone can drive. Functional IDs such as these will remain the responsibility of the issuing government agencies.

  • Social welfare and benefits granted by the government
  • Passports, driver’s license
  • Tax-related transactions
  • Admission in schools/government hospitals
  • Opening of bank accounts
  • Registration and voting purposes
  • Transactions for employment purposes
  • Cardholder’s criminal records and clearances

What information will be stored here?

This tamper-proof ID will be housing a smart chip that contains unique information associated with a person like his biometrics, iris scan, facial image reception code, and many other distinguishing features.

Other government-issued identification numbers such as the following will also be associated with the person’s designated CRN:

  • SSS
  • Pag-IBIG
  • PhilHealth
  • Passport number
  • Voter’s registration
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Driver’s license number

PhilSys Online Registration 

NEDA chief has announced the launch of the online registration for PhilSys on April 30. Through the online portal, applicants for the national ID system may now be able to process Step 1 of the registration. Check out the steps below.

Step 1 – Collection of demographic data and appointment-setting for Step 2

Information to be collected and stored under the PhilSys shall be limited to the following:

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Blood type
  • Address
  • Filipino or Resident Alien
  • Marital status, mobile number, email address (optional)

After registering online, applicants will still have to personally go to their chosen registration centers to capture biometric information and validate supporting documents.

Step 2 – Validation of supporting documents and capture of biometric information

Biometric information includes the following:

  • Fingerprints
  • Iris scan
  • Front-facing photograph

Step 3 – Issuance of the PhilSys Number (PSN) and the PhilID (physical card).

The PSA mentioned that the PSN and PhilID would then be delivered to the applicant via PHLPost.

Philsys online registration
Photo credits: PSA PhilSys

PhilID requirements

PhilSys applicants are advised to present an original copy of at least one (1) of the following:

  • Primary Documents:
    • PSA-issued Certificate of Live Birth and one (1) government-issued identification document which bears the full name, front-facing photograph, and signature or thumb mark.
    • DFA-issued Philippine Passport or e-passport
    • GSIS or SSS-issued Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card (UMID)
    • Land Transportation Office (LTO)-issued Student’s License Permit or Non-Professional/Professional Driver’s License
  • Secondary Documents:
    • PSA-issued Certificate of Live Birth/NSO-issued Certificate of Live Birth with Birth Reference Number (BreN)
    • LCRO-issued Certificate of Live Birth
    • PSA-issued Report of Birth
    • PSA-issued Certificate of Foundling
    • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Identification Card
    • Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
    • Seaman’s Book
    • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
    • Senior Citizen’s ID
    • SSS ID
    • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) ID
    • License to Own or Possess Firearms (LTOPF) ID
    • NBI Clearance
    • Police Clearance/ID
    • Solo Parent’s ID
    • PWD ID
    • Voter’s ID
    • Postal ID
    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) ID
    • Philhealth ID
    • Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA)-issued Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV)
    • National ID from other countries
    • Residence ID from other countries

The PSA also noted that the following identification documents should be accepted as secondary supporting documents provided that they have a front-facing photograph, signature/thumbmark, full name, permanent address, date of birth.

  • Employee ID
  • School ID
  • Barangay Clearance/Certificate
  • Barangay ID
  • City/Municipal ID

PhilSys Data Privacy and Security

According to PSA, the government agency ensures the privacy, security, and integrity of registered persons’ data, of which sufficient safeguards shall be in place to ensure information security, cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy in compliance with the Data Privacy Act.

Furthermore, the PSA has been working closely with the National Privacy Commission (NPC), the DICT, and the National Security Council regarding the architecture and processes of the PhilSys and identifying and mitigating privacy cybersecurity risks.

For More Info

If you have clarifications or concerns, you may directly reach PSA through email at [email protected], or send a private message to its official Facebook page, or call the PhilSys hotline 1388.

Sources: Philippine Statistics Authority- PhilSys, PSA, Senate.gov.ph, news inquirer

Related post: Where to apply or request for Birth Certificates, CENOMAR, and/or Marriage Certificates Online?