Gov’t launches ‘cashless’ payment scheme

Program ‘to close off all avenues for irregularity’


Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The government has launched a system dubbed Philgeps Virtual Store, through which agencies can buy supplies online and without using cash.

The service is being offered through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System with support from the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad described this as “a groundbreaking feat for the Philippine bureaucracy” considering reforms that the Aquino administration has been pushing over the last two years.

“The establishment of the e-payment system effectively brings us to the realm of cashless transactions, where procurement activities can be tracked and accounted very quickly and accurately,” Abad said.

He said the Philgeps Virtual Store would help national government agencies (NGAs) secure supplies faster, more efficiently and with greater transparency.

Republic Act No. 9184 of 2003 or the Government Procurement Reform Act mandates NGAs and state-run corporations, financial institutions, and universities and colleges as well as local government units to use Philgeps and its functionalities.

Aside from the Virtual Store, Philgeps also offers the use of an electronic bulletin board, a supplier’s registry, an electronic catalog and automatic bid notification.

Purchasing through the Virtual Store may be done at any time of the day and, combined with the other features of Philgeps, reduces the time needed to complete transactions.

“The development of this online payment facility is particularly important for liquidating expenses that are charged against public funds,” Abad said. “Because every step of the process can now be tracked and monitored, we can begin to close off all avenues for irregularity and, ultimately, estab      lish better accountability across government.”

With the Philgeps e-payment facility, Landbank can now offer similar services to other government services such applications for licenses with the Land Transportation Office and for clearances with the National Bureau of Investigation.

Last September, Abad said the Philippines has gained recognition from international bodies for pursuing several transparency initiatives, particularly with respect to digital technology.

He was referring to the UN Capital Development Fund, the US Agency for International Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and Visa Inc.

The Philippines is a founding member of the Better Than Cash (BTC) Alliance, which was formally launched during the forum held in New York last year.

According to the BTC Alliance website, the initiative was aimed at promoting electronic payments for programs that support people living in poverty.

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  • mojo76

    Good job for transparent government transaction……hope no one will try to sabotage this and back again in middle man and sales rep.

  • kismaytami

    If it is really for transparency, then it should have an online module/website where ordinary folks and media can view all purchases/transactions in real time.

    • ramon penas

       Huling huli na ang Pinas sa ibang bansa matagal na nilang ginagawa yan. Pero pabor yan sa bayan. Marami nga lang masasagasaang kurakot… tapos na ang maliligayang araw ng mga hinayupak na yan.

  • Klepto

    Is that all?
    Maging transparent na rin ang pagnanakaw sa Pilipinas.

  • ed0408

    Still many corrupt politicians and suppliers in this column doesn’t subscribe to this idea.
    But for us common tao, we support this gov’t. anti-corruption initiative for the betterment
    of Filipinos.

  • Val Sor

    Duh.  To be world class, Philippines must learn how to be trusted with processing VISA, Mastercard, etc for onlilne purchases.

  • boldyak

    “According to the BTC Alliance website, the initiative was aimed at promoting electronic payments for programs that support people living in poverty.”…naku ayaw ni Donkey Soliman nito….hahaha

    • Iggy Ramirez

      Before poor people could find use of these electronic gimmicks, they must first buy a computer. After they’ve bought a computer, they need to subscribe to an internet provider. After they’ve got internet connection, they need to apply for a power connection. After they’ve got power connection, they need to buy a house.

      Now, they can use this wonderful idea from the government.

  • novaliches

     dapat lahat ng transaction with the government ay by e-cash or cashless. para mabawasan ang  lagay. pero matalino ang pinoy, madiskarte hehehe

    • cute79

      matalino sa kalokohan hehe

  • Ricky070

    Good job. Another step forward in the right direction. Keep it coming, there is more to be done to combat corruption in government and making the government more transparent.

    This is nice since rather than give the money or check directly to the government officials or to the people  in charge of procurement and hope they will spend that money wisely and honestly, they will now have no hand in the money’s movement or transaction since it will all be done through a third party service scheme that will ensure efficiency, transparency, and accountability.  In other words, it will now be a little harder for corrupt officials to steal money from the government’s coffers.

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