LOOK: Duterte Orders Digital Payments for Government Disbursements and Collections

Offering digital payments will “enable a fast, convenient, secure and transparent mode of delivering government services and transacting business,” according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to a document that Malacañang released on Monday—Executive Order No. 170—President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the motion of digital payments for government disbursements and collections. He further added that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the advantages of digital payment services, as it “enabled a fast, convenient, secure and transparent mode of delivering government services and transacting business.”

“All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges, government-owned or controlled corporations… are hereby directed, and local government units (LGUs) are hereby enjoined to adopt digital payments for their respective disbursements and collections,” he ordered.

Despite the ease and convenience that digital payments offered, he also emphasized that the acceptance of cash and other traditional modes of payments may continue.

Payments Made Easy

With mobility restrictions that have forced millions of Filipinos to stay at home—no thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—digital payments have become a more popular way to transact.

Thus, the President stated that all concerned agencies “shall be allowed to disburse funds directly into the transaction accounts of recipients or beneficiaries—whether held in government or private financial institutions—without [the] need of a special arrangement from the financial institution concerned.” 

Agencies are also mandated “to offer a digital mode of collecting payments for taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges and impositions,” according to Duterte. And furthermore, agencies are mandated to create a technical working group “to provide guidance and promote cost-efficiency and transparency in the procurement of digital payment solutions.”

In April, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines was on track to meet its goal of digitalizing 50 percent of its payments by 2023 for the ease and convenience of the government and its employees.

Photos from Unsplash.com

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