More gov’t offices onboarding electronic payment facility eyed

More gov’t offices onboarding electronic payment facility eyed

MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) target to onboard around 430 government offices under the EGov Pay this year is being boosted by the increased utilization of digital payment services.

In a virtual press briefing on Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said around 387 government entities are currently part of the electronic payment facility that allows individuals and businesses to pay their dues to the government through online mode.

“Amid the sustained rise in billers, the BSP is not far from onboarding 100 percent of the target number of government entities this year,” he said, citing payment of fees for clearances and tax payments as the main drivers for the facility’s utilization.

The facility also allows people to pay obligations to state colleges and universities, water districts, and local government units (LGUs).

Diokno said “digital payments are more important now than ever” given the movement restrictions set by the government to address the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Digital payments help people cope with mobility restrictions amid the pandemic. Said services also facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of funds under the new economic environment,” he added.

Diokno said EGov Pay, which was launched in 2019, provides for “better government services to Filipinos.”

Digital payment transactions surged since the pandemic hit the country in the first quarter of 2020.

However, Diokno said the government has been on the right track before the pandemic, citing that around 63 percent of government payments have been in digital form since 2018 based on the survey done with the Better Than Cash Alliance.

He said the figure rose to 82 percent of total government payment transactions as of the first half of 2020.

“Enhancements could be pursued to further improve the efficiency of government collections and disbursements,” he said, adding the importance of reforms such as allowing these transactions through mobile applications. (PNA)

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