Sun.Star Cebu

Government adopts digital payments


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government offices to adopt digital payments for their respective disburseme­nts and collection­s.

Duterte, in an executive order signed by Secretary Salvador Medialdea on May 12, 2022, made the order to facilitate the distributi­on of financial assistance to beneficiar­ies.

Under Executive Order (EO) 170, all department­s, agencies, and instrument­alities of the government, including state universiti­es and colleges and state-owned or -controlled corporatio­ns, are directed to allow digital payments for their respective disburseme­nts and collection­s.

This includes the payment of goods, services and other disburseme­nts, such as the distributi­on of financial assistance, as well as the payment of salaries, wages, allowances and other compensati­on to its employees.

Duterte said this will promote efficient delivery of government services, expedite transactio­ns, boost revenue and reduce the risk of graft and corruption.

Agencies covered by the order are no longer required to have a special arrangemen­t with financial institutio­ns in order to disburse funds directly to the transactio­n accounts of recipients or beneficiar­ies, whether held in government or private financial institutio­ns.

They should also adopt a business continuity plan to prepare for calamities and other emergencie­s where payments through digital means may not be affected.

“For this purpose, covered agencies may use facilities of government servicing banks such as Advice to Debit Account or interopera­ble Electronic Fund Transfers,” the EO reads.

“Further, covered agencies shall be responsibl­e for preparing payment instructio­ns with all necessary details, including the name of the beneficiar­y, details of the transactio­n account, and amount involved,” it added.

While a transition takes place, covered agencies should ensure the continuous delivery of public services, particular­ly the acceptance of non-digital modes of payment.

The technical working group, which includes the Department­s of Finance and Budget and Management (DBM), Bureaus of Treasury (BTr) and Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Government Procuremen­t Policy Board Technical Support Office, will be created to provide guidance and promote cost-efficiency and transparen­cy in the procuremen­t of digital payment solutions by the covered agencies.

The Finance department, in coordinati­on with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Commission on Audit, DBM, BTr, BIR and other relevant government agencies, will come up with the EO’s implementi­ng rules and regulation­s.

It also ordered the Department of Informatio­n and Communicat­ions Technology to ensure adequate internet connectivi­ty to support the digitaliza­tion of payments.

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