Philippines to begin registering millions for National ID cards

The Philippines will start next week a 27.8 billion-peso ($575 million) project to give national identification cards to millions to boost financial inclusion, even with the region’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

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The government targets to register 9 million heads of low-income families before year-end, with the goal of giving national IDs to all Filipinos by 2022, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said at a virtual briefing on Friday. Data gatherers wearing masks and face shields will be deployed to 32 provinces with low risk of infections starting Oct. 12.

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The government expects the national ID project to help achieve the central bank’s goal for 70% of adults to have bank accounts by 2023, up from 29% last year. Other Asian nations like India have also embarked on similar efforts to drive the use of banking services and aid in the delivery of social services.

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