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Manila: The Philippine government plans to conduct mass registration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) starting 2020 for the national ID, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said.

In a statement, the Neda said the mass list up of Filipino workers abroad is part of a multiphase registration programme for the national ID or the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) which will be issued beginning next year.

“We are on track as regards the roll-out of PhilSys. We hope to open up registration to targeted communities and release the first batch of IDs late this year. By 2020, we expect the registration system to be more established allowing for more Filipinos to avail of the service,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine ID System Law in August of last year.

The PhilSys refers to the card to be issued to all Filipinos as well as the database that contains all the information. Under the PhilSys set up, the card will also be issued Filipinos living in the country and OFWs as well as to foreigners residing permanently in the Philippines.

The first phase will cover January to December 2019 and will involve procurement, testing of core technology infrastructure, organisational development of the PhilSys Registry Office, and launch of target registration.

The following phase, covering January to June 2020 will entail the development and full operationalisation of core technology infrastructure, development of a mass registration ecosystem.

“Phase 3 (July 2020 to June 2022) will undertake mass registration of 110,000,000 Filipinos and resident aliens, including OFWs,” Pernia said.

The fourth and last phase will involve issuance of PhilSys Numbers, or PSNs, to newborns.