THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said SM Supermalls has started accepting the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card in its SM Business Center services such as foreign currency exchange, remittance services, and credit card transactions.

"The action of SM Groups to accept the PhilID as a valid ID for a financial service they offer is a big leap for PhilSys (Philippine Identification System), as this will achieve our goal of providing easier, safer, and more secure access to services to the public," said PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Dennis S. Mapa in a statement.

The PSA said this honors the previously signed Memorandum of Understanding between the PSA and SM Prime Holdings to bring PhilSys closer to the mall-going public.

In June, the PSA partnered with SM Prime Holdings to roll out PhilSys Step 2 registration to various SM Supermalls.

Registrants may set an appointment in any of these branches across Metro Manila, Luzon, and the Visayas via completing the Step 1 registration at the official PhilSys web portal and booking a schedule at the available locations.

"The PhilID will boost the efficiency of transacting inside our Mall and retail partners when availing of services and products. Since June 2021, individuals who exchange foreign banknotes through any SM Store branch nationwide have the option to present their PhilID as a single valid identifying document during the transaction," said SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan.

The PSA earlier called for the acceptance of the PhilID in all transactions with government bodies and private entities.

The PhilID is currently being accepted in transactions with other PhilSys partner agencies such as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the

Philippine Postal Corporation, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

According to the PSA, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is running a pilot set for the use of PhilID in its programs including Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programs (4Ps) and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

The PSA is set to launch a mobile version of the PhilID as an alternative to the physical PhilID card in order to further encourage the use of the PhilSys in digital transactions.

Through this, the PSA said the government will achieve its goal of transitioning the country into a digital economy by providing Filipinos with a formal identification system that can be verified both online and offline.