New e-payment system for cashless procurement
MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration may have found a way to stop corruption in the simple procurement of office supplies by government agencies.
The government launched on Friday, January 18, a "groundbreaking" electronic payment facility (e-payment) that allows government agencies to purchase supplies online. Transactions are cashless, and monitoring is quick and easy.
It is called the PhilGEPS ePayment facility, a project of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and the Landbank of the Philippines (LandBank).
There's a "Virtual Store," where government agencies can order bond papers, pencils, ballpens, and masking tapes, and other office supplies. Payment will be made through their PhilGEPS accounts.
LandBank also set up a WebAccess Portal, where the progress of transactions may be tracked.
The online system brings a lot of transparency to the government procurement system.
It reduces the time needed to complete a transaction. The old "paper system" can be very bureaucratic. Financial documents have to be prepared before checks are issued.
It also makes government procurement a "cashless" transaction, which should curb corruption, said Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad.
"The e-Payment system effectively brings us to the realm of cashless transactions, where procurement activities can be tracked and accounted very quickly and accurately,” Abad said.
“The development of this online payment facility is particularly important for liquidating expenses that are charged against public funds. Because every step of the process can now be tracked and monitored, we can begin to close off all avenues for irregularity and, ultimately, establish better accountability across government,” Abad added.
It doesn't end with the PhilGEPS ePayment facility.
Abad said PhilGEPS is also developing a system that will, in the first phase, allow bidders to make electronic payments for membership fees and other charges. Ultimately, the system will evolve into an online payment system for bid documents.
Abad also wants the PhilGEPS ePayment facility to offer similar services for other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Office and the National Bureau of Investigation. - Rappler.com