Defense, budget departments get approval for use of credit cards

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MANILA, Philippines – The use of credit cards to replace so-called “petty cash” for small purchases at the Department of National Defense has been approved by regulators, in line with the administration’s push to improve transparency in government.

The Department of Budget and Management announced that starting this September, cash will no longer be used to purchase plane tickets, emergency medicine, groceries, and other small items for the various service units of the country’s armed forces.

This follows the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas  Monetary Board’s approval of the use of credit cards for small official transactions of the DND and its staff.

“This is just a baby step…. If this is successful, we can roll this out to other departments,” DBM chief information officer Richard Bon Moya said in an interview.

Moya said the use of credit cards by the DND was one of the first steps toward digitizing all transactions in government. The DND was chosen for the pilot project since the department had a reputation of bad record-keeping when it came to funds.

Apart from the DND, the DBM would also take part in the pilot project, which was done in cooperation with the Better Than Cash Alliance, a multinational non-governmental organization that advocates the use of more efficient electronic payment methods instead of coins and notes.

The Better Than Cash Alliance was founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is partly funded by American financial giant Citi.

The new credit cards for the government will work like corporate credit cards.  Moya said credit limits would be determined based on past spending patterns of each of the DND’s service units, namely the Army, Vavy, the Air Force and the Marines.

The use of the credit cards will also be limited to certain kinds of establishments to avoid abuse. “If they try to use it in restaurants and bars, the cards will be declined,” Moya said.

He said the cards would not augment the petty cash budgets of the agencies involved. Instead, the cards will replace cash that was previously used as the sole mode of payment.

The switch to more cashless transactions in government, Moya said, was a pet project of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. Moya said because electronic payment methods were more efficient and more transparent, the government stands to save “billions” every year as it minimizes leakages due to corruption and costs related to the handling of cash.

Moya said the project would have been implemented last year, but the DBM had to secure the Monetary Board’s approval because the use of credit cards by government agencies was essentially a loan by the state.

A recent survey by the Better Than Cash Alliance showed that 98 percent of all transactions in the country were still done using cash.

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  • Guest

    All expenses must be using a credit or debit card, even petty cash disbursements. it can be traced and quickly audited. Better method of handling expenses. No doubt about it. Its how business deals with audit and expenses, gov should too.

    If you dont know about it, do not yap and rant, its just most of you are nonsense, idiots and never had any visa/mc or amex. Poor you.

  • ado4625

    Use of credit card… nice one. Pero baka claim ng mga cardholders na ang creditcard nila ay nanakaw or yung CC # ay nacopy at hindi sa kanila yung mga purchases. Digital theft.

  • TruthHurts

    “because electronic payment methods were more efficient and more transparent”

    Which will eventually be rendered unconstitutional. Mark my word on that.

    The cashless society’s REAL INTENTION will be to restrict the ownership of real money in the future. By forcing individuals to automatically use their “card” it will allow the government to start implementing automatic and differing sales tax rates on items based on the government’s desire to allow individual ownership.

    This goal is one the bankers and their political knaves have desired since the days of Robin Hood and King Richard. It is not just for control of a society, but to modify human consumption to reward compliant activity via the ability to punish or tax actions considered objectionable by the elites in power at that moment. It would make it easier to freeze your movement at any given time as they desire.

    We will NEVER sell Liberty for Transparency. Sorry, but as long as I am alive I will make sure that that will eventually be invalidated.

  • kismaytami

    Ha’ay, juice ko! Makakapag-tampisaw na rin sa kaliwa’t-kanang shopping ang mga misis, anak, kabit at anak sa labas ng mga corrupt military officials. This time, one notch up na sila, mas magastos pa, dahil sa interest. Siyempre, tuwang-tuwa naman ang mga bangkero sa Citibank.

  • Rey

    The PoS (Point-of-Sale) receipts you get are heat-sensitive (thermal paper) such that it will turn black once exposed to sunlight. Light-sensitive din kaya indirect exposures (inside offices) will make it hard to read these when exposed to light for extended periods. I hope they will have the sense to photocopy the receipts at once.

    • speedstream2

      You make a good point. This aspect must be addressed with the proper measure to ensure the integrity of the transaction. All things considered, credit card transactions rather than the use of cash for small purchases is better and safer.

    • Tommy

      Er… if these are credit card transactions then there will be electronic records.

      • Rey

        When you pay, the record will not show the details only the time, date, name of establishment, amount of purchase, PoS serial number, etc. Nothing about what you bought. Unless you bought it from the Internet.

      • Tommy

        Yes, and the establishment should have the details of what you bought in their records.

      • Rey

        That is like scratching your left ear with your right hand. So how do you propose to get the details for liquidation pag nangitim ang resibo: let DND or COA connect to their database? Sa tingin mo papayag ang mga suppliers? Paano ang mga offline? O yung may credit card payment facilities pero hindi computerized and business? Marami niyan sa probinsiya.

      • Tommy

        Oh I agree that receipts should be submitted and scanned ASAP so the agency has a clear copy.

        I am just making the point that losing the receipt doesn’t mean any details are lost.

  • danyaleQuinto

    Aside from credit cards usage, pwede rin i-introduce ang debit o charge cards. At yun mga defense or military commissaries na nasa loob ng mga kampo ay i-revive para ma-utilize for purchases of day-to-day necessities or small purchases, by using these cards. Commissary outlets ay pwedeng private entities ang mag-operate manned by military personnel, with special arrangements with DND or AFP. Ang pwedeng maka-access lang ng commissary ay ang military units, military personnel, immediate families ng mga military.

    • Billy Reyes

      good idea, yong PPP marami sa dyan ibinibigay lang ng cash then the beneficiaries will just sign to receive the money.
      The government had to watch out for this kasi pwedi na namang gawing bogus eto sobrang laki pa naman ng budget ng gobyerno dito.

    • pepito gwaps

      Special arrangement with the DND and AFP…. wag naman masyadong special

      • danyaleQuinto

        in military perspective or view, “special arrangements” will be differ from the layman’s perspective, meaning, in accordance with the military’s scope of contract and approved by DBM

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