Duterte Executive Order on digital payments lauded

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday lauded the new executive order (EO) from President Rodrigo Duterte mandating all government agencies to use digital payments for disbursements and collections, saying the financial inclusion it provides is a big benefit to Filipinos.

“Good news talaga para sa ‘tin ‘tong EO on digital payments ni President Duterte. This is what we’ve been advocating for quite some time now, and definitely magiging mas inclusive at efficient ang government transactions dahil dito,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano has been appealing to government agencies to digitize their disbursements to make it easier for people to access state assistance programs amid the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy as well as higher-than-average inflation.

“EO 170 is a step towards the right direction para sa ‘kin. This truly brings government into the 21st century,” he added.

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday lauded the new executive order (EO) from President Rodrigo Duterte mandating all government agencies to use digital payments for disbursements and collections, saying the financial inclusion it provides is a big benefit to Filipinos.

“Good news talaga para sa ‘tin ‘tong EO on digital payments ni President Duterte. This is what we’ve been advocating for quite some time now, and definitely magiging mas inclusive at efficient ang government transactions dahil dito,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano has been appealing to government agencies to digitize their disbursements to make it easier for people to access state assistance programs amid the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy as well as higher-than-average inflation.

“EO 170 is a step towards the right direction para sa ‘kin. This truly brings government into the 21st century,” he added.

Signed by President Duterte on May 12, 2022, EO 170 orders all government departments, agencies, and other state-run organizations to adopt digital payments for their respective disbursements and collections.

While cash payments and other traditional modes of payment can still be done, government agencies as well as local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to adopt digital payments for their transactions as well.

According to Cayetano, making disbursements available through digital payments will increase the efficiency of government aid programs, allowing Filipinos in need to receive financial assistance without having to queue for hours or deal with fixers or middlemen.

“Exciting itong development na ito dahil there are so many possibilities. Once the government gets digital payments going, pwede na nating i-link yan sa National ID, tapos kung may apps tayo na ide-develop para all-digital na yung paglalakad ng assistance, e di better,” he said.

The order covers disbursements in the payment of goods and services, the distribution of financial assistance, as well as in the payment of salaries, wages, allowances, and other compensation to employees.

Government collections such as taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges are also covered by the digital payments order.

The veteran lawmaker, who is set to be proclaimed as one of 12 new senators by the Commission on Elections on Wednesday, has suggested that departments should use mobile apps to make their disbursement processes more efficient.

“Dapat may app na rin yan, may DSWD app, may DOH app, merong Transport Help app, na kapag kumpleto naman ang requirements mo, i-send mo lang and then through GCash or through a QR code sa phone mo e matatanggap mo na,” he said.

“Nandyan y’ung pera, pero medyo tedious, medyo mahirap y’ung proseso. That’s one thing I really want to work on, paano padadaliin ito,” he added.

Cayetano has often spoken about much-needed assistance being delayed by government red tape, fixers positioned in frontline government agencies, and local politicians who act as mediators between national financial aid programs and their respective constituencies.

“Kung wala ka ngang padrino or walang pulitiko na mag-aayos, hindi mo makukuha eh,” Cayetano lamented.

Cayetano said one way to cut red tape and reduce corruption is to leverage technology by developing mobile apps that people can use to process government transactions and making it possible to receive financial aid through fintech services like GCash or PayMaya.

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