Duterte orders adoption of digital payments for gov’t disbursements, collections

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the adoption of digital payments for government disbursements and collections to “promote efficient delivery of services, expedite transactions, boost revenue and reduce the risk of graft and corruption.”

Under Executive Order 170, all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges and government-owned or -controlled corporations, should adopt digital payments for their disbursements and collections.

Local government units are likewise enjoined to do the same.

All agencies should use “safe and efficient” digital disbursement in the payment of goods, services, and other disbursements, including the distribution of financial assistance, payment of salaries, wages, allowances, and other compensation to employees.

READ: Let’s go all-out digital, DILG urges LGUs

Under the order, they are allowed to disburse funds directly into the transaction accounts of recipients of beneficiaries.

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

Agencies are likewise directed to offer a digital mode of collecting payments for taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges and impositions.

“It is understood that this Order does not foreclose the acceptance of cash and other traditional modes of payment,” the order read.

With this, agencies are tasked to engage the services of established payment service providers.

A technical working group on the adoption of digital payments shall be established to provide “guidance and promote cost-efficiency and transparency” in the digital payment solutions, the order read.

The group shall be composed of representatives from:

-Department of Finance (DOF)

-Department of Budget and Management (DBM)

-Bureau of Treasury (BTr)

-Bureau of Internal Revenue

-Government Procurement Policy Board Technical Support Office

The DOF, along with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Commission on Audit DBM, BTr, BIR, and other relevant agencies shall issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations within 90 days from the effectivity of the EO.

All covered agencies are likewise directed to ensure the proper transition of their disbursement and collection procedures and policies.

They should fully implement digital disbursements and collections within six months from the issuance of the IRR of the EO.

READ: 1/5 of all PH financial transactions now digital, says BSP

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