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Estonian firms seeking to be National ID suppliers

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REUTERS

ESTONIAN companies have expressed interest in bidding for supply contracts for the national ID system, the Finance department said.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Estonian officials indicated their intent to participate in the bidding for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

Estonia’s ambassador-designate to the Philippines Vaino Reinart sat down with Mr. Dominguez in Manila, together with business leaders from Estonian companies who were previously involved in developing Estonia’s electronic governance system.

Estonia is widely acknowledged to be a leader in digital technology, with its coders helping develop Skype and its e-government services, including filing tax returns, widely available online.

“It is indeed a good time to come here and demonstrate what you could possibly be able to implement provided the digital ID is properly secured in place,” Mr. Reinart was quoted as saying.

PhilSys will collect data like name, gender, date and place of birth, blood type, address, and whether or not the person is a Filipino or resident alien. It will also capture a front-facing photo, a full set of fingerprints and an iris scan.

Once registered, residents will be given a 12-digit PhilSys Number which can serve as their digital identity across multiple platforms — a major reform expected to help improve access to credit especially for the unbanked.

The Philippines is hoping to start registrations soon for the national ID, with authorities targeting to sign up at least seven million Filipinos in 2019. Registrations are expected to grow to 27 million by 2020 as the formal application process kicks in.

By 2023, authorities are expected to complete the registration of Filipinos and resident aliens.

The Estonian firms visiting Manila included security software firm Cybernetica, e-ID supplier RaulWalters, Customs operations solutions provider GoSwift and management systems firm Ecomatic.

Mr. Dominguez also asked Estonian firms to consider hiring Filipinos. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez

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