December 3, 2021

PhilID tamper-proof with various security features

MANILA – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Monday said the absence of the registrant’s handwritten signature on the physical Philippine Identification (PhilID) card is part of the security features.

In an advisory posted on Monday, the PSA said the PhilID card under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project is designed and aligned with national ID systems abroad such as in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

PSA cited traditional processes such as filling up paper forms, photocopying of IDs, and wet signatures “are prone to inefficiency and fraud.”

“Handwritten signatures are easily forged and cannot be easily verified. Furthermore, there are some Filipinos who cannot make handwritten signatures, which is why some forms offer an alternative of a thumbmark,” it added.

The PhilID design “promotes greater security in transactions through stronger methods of verification and lower risks of forgery.”

It has anti-tamper features such as the guilloche design, holder’s ghost image, and the diffractive optically variable image device.

It has a quick response (QR) code digital verification feature that uses asymmetric key cryptography to validate the holder’s identity.

The biometric verification feature can be used in an automated and real-time online matching of the holder’s fingerprint, facial, or iris with the recorded profile in the PhilSys Registry.

It also uses a one-time password (OTP) via text or short message service (SMS).

“While the QR code, biometric, and SMS OTP authentication methods are yet to be fully operational, service providers or individual staff may still consider doing traditional methods of identity verification and may inadvertently request an ID with a handwritten signature,” the statement read.

“However, service providers can immediately begin using the physical security features, which are superior to a handwritten signature, for their offline verification.”

Various usage tests for the PhilID features are ongoing to ensure maximum security, scalability, and functionality.

PSA said the QR code verification system will be launched before the end of this year while the biometric and SMS OTP verification systems will be piloted within the remaining months of 2021.

Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.

The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and opening of bank accounts.

It will also boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. (PNA)

 

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