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May 30, 2024

EO on e-payments for gov’t transactions seen cutting corruption

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the directive issued by President Duterte on the adoption of digital payments for government disbursements and collections is seen reducing the risk of graft and corruption.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said Executive Order No 170 issued by Malacañang mandates all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and enjoins local government units to utilize digital channels in the disbursement and collection of payments.

“Digital collection of payments will expedite transactions, generate savings for the government and the public, and reduce the risk of graft and corruption,” Diokno said.

For all disbursements including the distribution of financial assistance among others, the EO requires government entities to transfer funds directly into the recipient’s transaction account, whether held in a government or private financial institution.

The EO also requires government agencies to offer digital options for the collection of taxes, fees, tolls, and other government payables.

The public, however, may still transact with the government through cash payment.

Furthermore, the EO also allows government entities to include in their respective budgets a reasonable amount for the establishment and maintenance of required infrastructure and the system for digital payments.

The BSP chief said that the directive provides robust support to central bank’s efforts in promoting payments digitalization and financial inclusion under the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap and the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI).

The roadmap aims to shift half of all retail payments in the country into electronic channels and onboard at least 70 percent of Filipino adults to the formal financial system by 2023.

Likewise, the NSFI serves as the country’s blueprint to achieve the vision of driving financial inclusion toward broad-based growth and financial resilience.