The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on DSWD’s adoption of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) for the identification and verification of beneficiaries for the different social welfare programs.
Pilot testing through Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, along with gradual integration of PhilSys API-enabled services into all DSWD programs over three years, is included in the MOA.
DSWD’s 4Ps is the Philippine national poverty reduction strategy and flagship safety net program, which was institutionalized through Republic Act No. 11310. It aims to invest in the health and education of children from poor households, and currently provides support to over four million households in the country. Meanwhile, the AICS is part of DSWD’s protective services to support marginalized individuals and families recovering from unexpected crisis situations, such as the sudden death of a family member.
According to Undersecretary Dennis S. Mapa, PSA National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, “The PSA recognizes the partnership with the DSWD as a breakthrough in giving a more strengthened financial inclusivity for public services as it will allow PhilSys to achieve one of its goals, that is to quickly deliver services to the public through the programs under the DSWD. As the PhilSys continues to expand its implementation, may this partnership encourage other government agencies and private institutions to work hand-in-hand with the PSA to cater the public with easier access to other various private and public services.”
Meanwhile, both these programs underscore DSWD’s goal of serving households in need by providing support along with cash transfer, medical and other forms of assistance. The PSA-DSWD partnership in these programs places DSWD as the first national government agency to adopt PhilSys for authentication of its beneficiaries, laying an important foundation for the national scale-up of PhilSys enabled services.
“With the Philsys-enabled services adopted in the said programs, we strive to promote seamless service delivery in order to improve the efficiency, and transparency of our social protection programs. It is also a step towards financial inclusion for our beneficiaries and clients. The Philsys ID, as a valid proof of identity, is easily accessible to everyone. It opens a lot of opportunities for the unbanked poor and vulnerable sectors particularly on easier registration with the bank and other financial institutions of their choice, therefore expanding their access to social and financial services,” DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista said.
By adopting PhilSys, DSWD will be able to enhance its social protection delivery and improve the overall experience for its beneficiaries. The benefits of PhilSys adoption include digitizing and streamlining DSWD’s beneficiary registration; establishing a United Beneficiary Database (UBD); identifying and removing duplicate or ghost beneficiaries; and enabling financial inclusion and digital payments. This further includes use of biometric verification through the PhilSys and offline verification through the PhilID card; enrollment of future beneficiaries into programs using PhilSys e-KYC; and uniquely identifying beneficiary records by seeding PhilSys Number (PSN) tokens.
As a result, DSWD will provide benefits more quickly to intended beneficiaries while preventing fraud and leakages. This also means that DSWD will be better prepared for future responses to crises and natural disasters. At the same time, program beneficiaries will find social assistance services much more accessible with a streamlined process.