Management issues hound P3.48-billion PhilSys cards
MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) failure to deliver the required number of identification (ID) cards caused a “ripple effect” that delayed the progress of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project, according to a report of the Commission on Audit (COA).
State auditors found that the BSP and its contractor were tasked to produce and personalize 116 million Philippine ID cards for four years, but were unable to meet the required number of cards.
“The quantity of produced and delivered Philippine ID cards did not meet the requirement provided for in the terms of reference, thus causing delay to the PhilSys project of the government, intended to streamline the transactions in both the public and private sectors,” COA said.
In a 2021 audit report on the BSP, the COA said the actual deliveries of pre-personalized cards by the contractor was 27,356,750 pieces as of the end of last year.
This is 76 percent of the 36 million annual requirement, or short by 8,643,250 pieces, or 24 percent of the required deliveries of pre-personalized ID cards for 2021.
As to personalized cards, the BSP delivered to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 8,764,556 pieces of personalized cards worth P262.93 million, or 17.53 percent of the 50 million requirement for 2020 and 2021.
Under a memorandum of agreement, the BSP was supposed to produce 116 million pieces of pre-personalized ID cards for the PhilSys and to provide, manage and maintain the card personalization equipment that would interface with the PSA system.
The PSA, for its part, will manage the PhilSys database and ensure the availability, confidentiality, integrity, accuracy, and readiness of the data that would be personalized in the BSP-produced and pre-personalized cards.
The production and delivery of the cards were to be done from 2021 to 2023, with a total budget of P3.48 billion.
Requirements not met
However, the production and delivery of ID cards did not meet the specified requirements of the PhilSys project.
The COA advised the BSP to periodically revisit its catch-up plans and ensure that these will “ultimately expedite” the production and delivery of ID cards, address the backlogs, and meet the requirements stated in its agreement with the PSA.
The BSP acknowledged the COA’s recommendations and said it is coordinating with its contractor for the “timely delivery of consumables and spare parts, other concerns on contract implementation, and with PSA, for the immediate resolution of their system and connectivity issues with their IT (information technology) solutions partners.”
It added that corresponding liquidated damages and penalties were already imposed on the contractor.
Factors such as pandemic restrictions, technical issues, the lack of personnel to operate card personalization machines and the limited supply of machine spare parts also affected the production of ID cards.
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