PhilSys appears to be improving 4P cash transfers, recipients urged to register

MANILA, Philippines – Beneficiaries registered in the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) would not need to present physical identification documents when applying for future grants, an official with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor said. development (DSWD).

During an online July 7 forumDSWD Deputy Secretary Rhea Peñaflor gave a brilliant overview of the national ID system, which she said would bring “more accurate, efficient and transparent” processes when adopted across all agency programs.

The DSWD before ink an agreement with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to adopt the PhilSys in the identification and verification of beneficiaries of various social protection programs.

PhilSys is the government’s central identification platform that was enacted in August 2018.

A pilot test of the PhilSys was considered in the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino (4Ps) program, the country’s flagship safety net program, and the Assistance to People in Crisis (AICS) program until the map of national identity is gradually integrated into the programs of the social welfare agency. over the next three years.

“Basically it’s two-step – so if you’ve already registered with PhilSys, you’re already authenticated. You say who you say you are, so it’s already done, so we’ll already pay [the eligible],” she says.

Several Filipinos have complained about prolonged delays in printing their national ID cards which are intended to eventually replace all other government-issued IDs except passports, driver’s licenses and passports. the UMID identifier.

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But more than the card itself, World Bank senior economist Yoonyoung Cho said the PhilSys number already contains a person’s key information.

“When the PhilSys is adopted by [social amelioration programs] and processes, it can help clean up the database and unify the database of information,” she said.

Each registered Filipino citizen and resident alien is assigned a unique, randomly generated PSN or identification number.

A 2022 World Bank report found there were ‘significant gaps’ in the provision of social protection, as it cited a lack of up-to-date social and beneficiary registries and an identification system operational national.

PhilSys began registration in October 2020, prioritizing low-income households from 32 provinces. The measure had also been widely criticized for allegations of cybersecurity and questionable sourcing.

But as of June 24, 2022, nearly 70 million Filipinos were registered on the PhilSys platform, Peñaflor said.

Gaps in the social improvement program

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines, the national government provided emergency grants of up to P8,000 under the Social Improvement Program (SAP). Some 18 million poor households have been reached by the programme, including at least 4.4 million 4P beneficiaries.

However, PIDS Vice President Marife Ballesteros said the pandemic has revealed “weaknesses and gaps” in the management of current social protection programs.

“One of the main issues was the delay in the distribution of Ayuda due to difficulty in identifying eligible beneficiaries. There had also been reports of ineligible people receiving the cash grant,” she added.

The government identifies poor households to benefit from cash grants using the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or more commonly known as Listahanan.

The first tranche of SAP was processed manually, Cho said, resulting in long lines and delays in cash distribution. While the second tranche used digital cash delivery, Cho added that the insufficient database of clean recipients also delayed the rollout of the grant.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to be the last crisis to hit the country, Cho said the government’s response to help poor households “should be swift and fair”.

However, simply distributing relief food parcels to Filipinos may not be enough.

“It is very important to shift the main mechanism from untargeted food aid to targeted cash transfers as soon as the market becomes operational,” Cho added.

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