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MAASIN CITY, March 5 (PIA) -- More than half of the initial goal of 60,040 individuals targeted in the ongoing pre-registration for Philippine identification system (Philsys) in the entire province of Southern Leyte was already done.

The accomplishment accounted for about 57.62%, comprising over 39,000 people, according to Eutemio Llevado, Jr., head of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) provincial office.

Four teams covered the whole province for the pre-registration data-gathering activity, batch 1, step 1, which began in January, targeting the poorest of the poor as the priority, said Llevado at the Kapihan sa PIA forum last week.

The deadline for this batch is until March 31, while the biometrics, or step 2 in the process, is slated to begin in May, then by that time the batch 2 for the pre-registration may also begin, Llevado reported.

“There will be no walk-in registration,” Llevado said, stressing that those who had pre-registered should wait for the text or call to come to the designated registration center -- at the SLEM office for the city -- to have their biometrics taken.

By May, next year, everyone in the province shall have been covered, and only by that time the PSA would accept walk-in registrants, for individuals who were not able to get pre-registered for some reasons, the PSA provincial chief said.

“The Philippine ID system is voluntary, not mandatory,” Llevado further said, adding that the goal was to have a unified ID to improve efforts at extending government aid, benefits, and services in addition to easier identification. (nbq/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)