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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  • raul n

    this is good but then the stocks & supplies of DBM procurement office are of low quality. when this project was rolled out the propaganda was good later we found out that the DBM also buys supplies from one of our supplier. hmmm  

  • Sarkasmos

    Not bad, Abad. Congratulations!

  • Jess

    Wow! Let’s have this immediately. First, the pork!!


      RIGHT & PRONTO… not later. thanks Jess

  • RyanE

    Great! This cashless payment scheme should cover all 3 branches of the government, executive, legislative and judiciary. I’m particularly interested on how our “honorable” congressmen and senators are disposing off their pork barrels.

    In conjunction with this new system, FOI law should be enacted soonest.

  • Janch

    This sounds promising.  

    Maybe government can provide an indirect payment system like this for other government fees to be paid by the public like customs fees and duties .

  • Sandy Bulet

    This is good news!

  • foreignerph

    Bribe takers are allergic to anything but cash so this won’t pass.

  • LegalJustice

    This is a good development.

    I hope they will do the same with the ” Pork Barrel ” so they won’t be any temptation. There should be a limited maximum amount transaction that the official can do however if its over the limit it needs to be reviewed and approved by the finance secretary and with the RECEIPT but still need to be verified for authenticated if found guilty of falsication of the document or  it is a fake transaction – no question ask 10 years imprisonment and restitution of the amount and automatically discharge for public office.

    Political Prosecution as an excuse is – NO EXCUSE for that is an old story that majoriity of the corrupt officials used. 

  • mon key

    sounds good . . . until the hackers come around to play with the servers!

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    You should start with politicians’ pork barrel! but then again, they will conspire with contractors to jack up the price….BIR should scrutinize income statements of all government contractors.

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