Philippine Government Launches Cashless Purchase and Open Data
Along with the launch of data.gov.ph, a website that consolidates the data from different government agencies and makes it available in formats meant for easy downloading and use, the government has also launched the cashless, checkless system for government agencies.
The Cashless Purchase Program (CPC) will enable the government to initiate cashless transactions in its bid to eliminate corruption in the bureaucracy. It was introduced during the Good Governance Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The Philippine President graced the program launch.
“The presence of large sums of cash in offices can pose a temptation to even the most honest employee – not to mention those who would willingly take advantage of such a situation,” the President said.
“Cashless purchase cards will be issued to agencies, for low-value payments of a restricted number and type of goods and services. They will resemble ordinary credit cards, but will have additional restrictions more suited to the needs of government. Through the Cashless Purchase Cards and other similar reforms, government financial transactions should be 100 percent checkless and 80 percent cashless before the end of this year,” the President added.
Under the CPC program, which will start on the first quarter of 2014, President Aquino said cashless purchase cards will be issued to government agencies — the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of National Defense, and the general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the pilot stage — to use for “allowable purchases … limited to medical supplies, meals, the transportation of official documents, airline tickets, and construction supplies for minor repairs.”
“If all goes well, the program will be rolled out and cashless purchases cards will be distributed in other national government agencies next year,” Aquino said.
In a summary, the Cashless Purchase Cards will eliminate the need for petty cash advances and payments in the government’s procurement process, which can be prone to abuse and irregularity. The purchase cards will function in much the same way as corporate credit cards, and will be linked to an online system that controls and monitors actual spending in real time.
The program is a joint effort between the Aquino administration and Citibank, with the government’s financial transactions to be done entirely through electronic means instead of cash or checks.
- Citigroup won the public bidding for the project in 2011; the government is tapping their services for the implementation of the Cashless Purchase Card program;
- The credit limit for these cards hasn’t been fixed yet, but it will soon be determined by the program’s steering committee;
- The AFP under the DND will receive 10 cards in the first month of the pilot implementation phase. Another 10 cards will be issued to AFP after two months;
- The DBM will receive 2 Cashless Purchase Cards;
- The cards will be issued only to units/offices authorized to manage petty cash releases.
- For the pilot implementation, the Cashless Purchase Cards will be used to cover transactions that petty cash previously supported. Major purchases will not yet be covered.
- The cards will be issued to the agencies in February. In the meantime, the names of authorized personnel/officers, which the card accounts will be named under are still being determined.
- The Cashless Purchase Card System program is a reform initiative that the DBM and the DND jump-started. Again, Citigroup became the official system provider for the project after it edged out competition during a public bidding process in 2011.
(Source: Gov.ph) Photo by: Rey Baniquet/Malacañang Photo Bureau