Registration for the national ID system has been moved from July to October because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) official said on April 28.

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"'Yong mass registration natin will start October po. Kung hindi tayo nagkaroon ng COVID-19 then we should start the registration sa July," PSA Assistant Secretary Lourdines Dela Cruz told DZMM.

According to Dela Cruz, moving the registration date to October will accommodate PSA's increased target of the initial 5 million to 10 million in 2020. Once registration begins, the agency will prioritize the heads of households.

"By 2022, we envision na majority of Filipinos ay mayroon nang ID," he added.

In August 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the national ID system into law. The PSA said the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) would serve as a valid proof of identity for all Filipinos and residents registered. It will remove the need to provide other IDs or forms of identification, making services and applications faster.

Dela Cruz said PhilSys would give a unique, randomly generated number to each person registered in the system. Various government agencies will then review the individual’s data to verify their identity.

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With the national ID, authenticating a person's identity will be made faster. This would be beneficial to Filipinos who encounter difficulties applying or registering for some services, such as opening their own bank accounts, Dela Cruz said.

PhilSys could also hasten the proper distribution of aid to Filipinos during calamities and emergency situations. On April 15, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson filed a resolution to probe on the delay of the national ID system. Sotto noted the two-year delay, and said the identification system could address the distribution of the government’s cash aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more COVID-19 updates, visit reportr.world.

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This story originally appeared on reportr.world

*Minor edits have been made by FemaleNetwork.com editors

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