The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as part of its ongoing efforts to start the mass registration of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), conducted the Expression of Interest (EOI) Conference for the Systems Integrator (SI) on 19 May 2020, which was participated in by more than 56 prospective bidders. The Issuance of the Notice of Award followed by the signing of the contract is scheduled not later than August 2020, in time for the start of the registration in the 4th quarter of this year.
“The SI will serve as the link to ensure the seamless interconnection of all components of the PhilSys and will serve as the “glue” that will bind all separately procured components into an end-to-end solution,” according to Undersecretary Dennis Mapa, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General.
The SI is part of the four major procurement blocks for PhilSys, the other three procurement blocks are – 5,000 registration kits, card production, and the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) that is considered as the brain of the PhilSys. The procurement of the registration kits and the ABIS have been completed.
“The SI shall provide cutting edge technologies that will ensure seamless integration between the registration kits, ABIS, and card production,” Mapa added.
On expediting procurement procedures pursuant to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Undersecretary Mapa assured the public and interested parties that PSA maintains stringent eligibility requirements for prospective SI bidders.
“As a priority project, the national ID cannot be delayed any further. That is why we have proposed alternative ways of complying with documentary requirements in compliance with pertinent resolutions issued by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB),” Mapa said.
“We will focus on the track record of the bidders and evaluate their suitability against the determined eligibility criteria as with all other competitive bidding,” Mapa added.
Mapa also said that opening the bidding to both foreign and local eligible firms will further drive competition that would ensure the best value for Filipino citizens, and increase the likelihood of getting a high quality, world-class, and secure SI for PhilSys.
On data privacy and security, PSA reported that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Privacy Commission have both been actively involved in addressing and mitigating privacy and cybersecurity risks. Mapa further conveyed that existing PhilSys processes have undergone Privacy Impact and Assessment conducted by an independent third party.
“Ensuring the privacy, security, and integrity of our citizens’ data remains as our top priority and we assure the public that sufficient safeguards shall be in place to comply with our data privacy law,” Mapa said.
As for potential health risks during mass registration, PSA said that they “are using the next few months to finish the required procurement and delivery of components that will allow the government to safely conduct mass registration by the last quarter of 2020.”
PSA is also developing registration protocols that are strictly adherent to health measures prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH), including physical distancing, sanitation of areas and equipment, and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to registration staff.
PSA was mandated to implement the provisions of the Philippine Identification System Act (Republic Act No. 11055) which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 2018. PhilSys is expected to improve the implementation of social welfare programs, expand access to government services, and promote financial inclusion. PSA aims to register almost all Filipinos to PhilSys by end of 2022.
-Office of the National Statistician