MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the adoption of digital payments for government disbursements and collections, according to a document that Malacañang released on Monday.
Duterte in Executive Order No. 170 said the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the benefits of digital payment services "as it enabled a fast, convenient, secure and transparent mode of delivering government services and transacting business."
"All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges, government-owned or -controlled corporations… are hereby directed, and local governments units (LGUs) are hereby enjoined to adopt digital payments for their respective disbursements and collections,” the President ordered.
The EO however emphasized that acceptance of cash and other traditional modes of payment may continue.
Duterte said concerned agencies “shall be allowed to disburse funds directly into the transaction accounts of recipients or beneficiaries, whether held in government or private financial institutions, without need of a special arrangement from the financial institution concerned.”
Agencies are also mandated “to offer a digital mode of collecting payments for taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges and impositions,” said Duterte.
It also ordered the creation of a technical working group “to provide guidance and promote cost-efficiency and transparency in the procurement of digital payment solutions.”
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of digital payments in the past few years as mobility restrictions forced Filipinos to transact while staying at home.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno in April said the Philippines was on track to meet its goal of digitalizing 50 percent of payments by 2023.