FACT CHECK: No, the new national ID is not yet available

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 30 2019 07:08 PM | Updated as of Jan 30 2019 07:10 PM

A Facebook post that has been shared tens of thousands of times claims that a new Philippine national identity card is now available. Philippine authorities said the claim is false and the application process for the new national ID card has not yet begun.

The claim appears in a Facebook post, which has been shared 185,000 times since it was published December 3, 2018, and has also been published on multiple websites, for example here and here

Here is a screenshot of the Facebook post:

The headline of one of the misleading articles says “Attention: You Can Now Get Your ‘National I.D.’ For Free At Any PSA (NSO) Branch Near You Starting This December”

PSA refers to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) -- the government agency tasked with implementing the law mandating the creation of the said ID. It used to be called the NSO or the National Statistics Office.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law establishing the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) on August 5, 2018.

Under this law, Filipino citizens and foreign residents of the country are required to register demographic and biometric information with the new identification system. This information will then be included in the new national ID card.

The Philsys Registry Office was created under the PSA to oversee the creation and management of the identification system.

A PhilSys spokesman told AFP that it was not true that Filipinos could get their new national ID since December 2018.

“No. We have not yet started the registration for the PhilSys.”

“We are still in the process of establishing the PhilSys Registry Office and we are still finalizing the guidelines for the PhilSys registration. However, we expect to start the registration of Filipino citizens and resident aliens by the 4th quarter of 2019,” Lourdines Dela Cruz, interim deputy national statistician for the PhilSys Registry Office told AFP in an email dated January 29, 2019.

The PSA also came out with a public advisory saying the registration for the system has not yet started.

“The Philippine Statistics Authority, as the primary implementing agency to carry out the provisions of Republic Act No. 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act (PhilSys Act), has not yet started the registration of applicants for the PhilID”, it said in an advisory dated December 12, 2018.

The post has been shared over 200,000 times by Facebook groups with some nine million followers.