Philippine OFW Updates

The Philippine National ID rollout

June 8, 2021

We have wanted a Philippine identification system for a long time. I had thought that it would not happen. But now it’s here. The first part of the application is online. Millions had already registered.

I just created this blog post to share some basic information about the application. This blog hopes to help answer some of your questions about the Philippine national ID card. I’ve been an advocate for a Philippine ID system, and now it’s here.


The Philippine National ID explained

The Philippine identification system streamlines government transactions. This means identification and verification are faster for Philippine citizens. And we want this, don’t we?

The goal of the Philippine national identification system is to establish a single official identification card that can be used for various services and eligibility requirements. It covers public and private transactions. Filipinos will have easier access to the social benefits granted by our government.

This Philippine national ID can be used to apply for government certificates, passports, and other licenses. Additionally, it can be used for employment requirements. The goal is to have a single ID that can replace the need for several different IDs.

Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys Act)

In August 2018, the PhilSys Act (Republic Act 11055) was signed into law to establish a Filipino identification system.

The Philippine ID was created so that both Filipino and foreign residents can have a single ID for all transactions.

The PhilSys Act has 3 parts:

PhilSys Number (PSN) This ID number is random and unique. This is like national ID numbers from countries like Singapore. You receive your PSN during your birth, or when you register with the PSA.

PhilSys Registry is the online database that stores all information about your PSN.

Philippine National ID is the actual ID given to residents and Philippine citizens.

Who can have a Philippine National ID?

This is for Filipino citizens both inside and outside the country. If you’re an OFW, please check with your designated embassies.

Foreigners or resident aliens who are living in the Philippines can also apply for a Philippine National ID.

The Philippine National ID includes the following personal data:

  • ID Number
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Blood Type
  • Birthdate and place
  • Biometrics data (You need to give a fingerprint and an eye scan.)
  • Photo
  • Present address
  • Citizenship (Filipino or foreigner resident aliens)

You may choose to include the following information: marital status, mobile, and email.

The PSA website

Now, how to apply?

The process of applying for a Philippine National ID card is free. Only the registration is permitted online (Step 1).

  1. The first step is to register online , this is the first step.
  2. Proceed to any of the designated registration centers. Here, your biometrics and photo will be taken on the date of your appointment. Note: make sure you have your requirements in order. Magdala ng IDs!
  3. After your application, all that is left is to wait for the Philippine national ID to be delivered

What are the requirements to bring?

What IDs are accepted? What documents can be considered? What’s a valid proof of identity?

People wishing to apply for the Philippine National ID should bring at least one original document.

Since PSA’s website is not always on, let me list the primary documents here:

  • PSA-issued Certificate of Live Birth and 1x government-issued identification document that contains a photo and your signature.
  • Philippine Passport or ePassport;
  • GSIS or SSS’ Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card (UMID);
  • LTO License (student, nonpro or pro)

Secondary documents (not a complete list):

Here’s a list of valid proof of identity that you can bring as supplementary documents.

  • PSA Certificate of Live Birth or NSO Certificate of Live Birth with Birth Reference Number (BreN)
  • LCRO Certificate of Live Birth
  • PSA Report of Birth
  • Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) ID
  • Philhealth ID
  • Senior Citizen’s ID
  • SSS ID
  • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) ID
  • Firearm Licence
  • NBI Clearance
  • Police Clearance/ID
  • PWD ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Postal ID
  • National ID from other countries
  • Residence ID from other countries

Secondary documents are optional, In the absence of your primary documents, prepare these substitutes. Not all, but present what you have.

Designated PSA sites

For step 2, the designated centers can be found here

PSA updates their site regularly so make sure you visit the website every now and then.

The common government agencies’ centers for Filipinos to register, are the following:

  • PSA Regional/Provincial Offices
  • Local Civil Registry (can be found in your city or municipal halls)
  • GSIS
  • SSS
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation 
  • Home Development Mutual Fund
  • Commission on Elections Office
  • Philippine Postal Corporation

My mother registered at my home town’s city hall. She said the process was easy.

Well, she’s a senior, So she must have taken advantage of those priority lines.

So if you don’t want to do it online, you can proceed to the PSA’s designated venue. Above is my Mom’s personal account, so please check with the government office (i.e, city hall) first if they accept registration for the national ID.

PSA also makes use of malls and other venues. Check their Facebook page for updates.

How about OFW’s and Filipinos living abroad?

Registration will be at the Philippines’ embassy in your area. DFA will inform the date, time, and venue of where to hold registration.

This largely depends on the existing conditions in the country you are in. Due to the fact that there are pandemic restrictions, registrations may be different from place to place.

Here in Singapore, where I am, we’re still waiting for announcements.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes not. Why is that?
The lag is just terrible.

Frustration with Online Registration

PSA has taken the initiative to implement an online application in order to prevent Covid19 infections.

Sadly, this Philsys’s website ( is always down. Has it been overrun by so many registrants that the site is no longer functioning well?

While this isn’t a good look, I hope things get better.

Even Philsys’s updated list of registration centers takes so long to load, that is if you’re lucky.

Now let’s not worry too much about the negatives here. It has been a few months since online registration became available. Let’s see how things go from here.

Huge Step

I have been living overseas for many years. The Philippine national ID is a wonderful initiative. Like most Filipino OFWs and expats, we have been able to benefit from our host countries national ID system.

Why have we gone so long without one?

The idea of a national identification card has been politicized and blocked before. Now that it’s here, we need to get behind it and spread the word.

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