Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law in Malacañang Palace on Monday.


New ID for Filipinos require iris scan, fingerprints


DUBAI – A long-awaited Philippine ID System (PhilSys) has been signed into law to provide Filipinos, including those in the UAE, with a card that would give them quicker access to government services.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law in Malacañang Palace on Monday, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.

Filipinos will need to have their fingerprints and iris scanned for the national ID, which will also store their personal details.

Filipinos abroad can apply for the ID at Philippine embassies or consular offices. The application is free.

“As we all know, the President is averse to bureaucratic red tape. Through PhilSys, we hope to improve efficiency and transparency of public services and promote ease of doing business,” Roque said.

The new ID system will pass all constitutional requisites.

“We are confident that this time around it will pass the test of constitutionality,” he added.

Roque said the national ID will promote national security because of a database on all Filipinos.

It will also prevent identity theft and promote a better delivery of goods and services from the government to the people, Roque said.

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon, the principal author of the law, allayed concerns about data privacy.

“We have provided enough safeguards to protect the individual’s right to privacy and to prevent unscrupulous persons from accessing confidential information,” Drilon said.

Common reference number

What’s in the ID?

Filipinos who register for the ID will be given a Common Reference Number (CRN)

Each account will have information on the owner’s full name, address, date and place of birth, gender, blood type, civil status, mobile number, email address signature, CRN and date of card issuance, and biometric information composed of photo, fingerprint scan and iris scan

When and where to use the ID

  • National government agencies
  • Local government units
  • Government-owned corporations
  • Governmen-controlled corporations
  • Government financial institutions
  • Private sector
  • Applying for social welfare and benefits
  • GSIS, SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig
  • Applying for passport and driver’s licenses
  • Tax-related transactions
  • Registration and voting identification purposes
  • Applying for schools and other learning institutions
  • Applying for employment and other related transactions
  • Opening bank accounts and other transactions with banks and financial institutions
  • Verifying criminal records and clearances
  • Other transactions as defined by law


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