Government shift to digital streams increasing

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Thursday that the government is increasingly shifting to digital streams in terms of its day-to-day transactions and services due largely to restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said transactions using EGov Pay, an e-payment facility for taxes, permits, fees and other government obligations, rose year-on-year by over 5,000 percent in volume and almost 2,000 percent in value at end-May 2021.

“Aside from curbing revenue leaks, fostering better audit trail and enhancing transparency, the wider usage of EGov Pay is seen to promote efficiency in the country’s revenue generation efforts under the New Economy,” Diokno said.

EGov Pay transactions also increased by an average of 98 percent in volume and 126 percent in value from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. Payment of fees related to securing clearances and taxes drive most of the utilization of this facility.

Also, from only two government institutions when the facility was launched in 2019, EGov Pay now has 387 government billers. According to the BSP, this translates to 90 percent of total government billers scheduled to be captured in the said digital platform for the year 2021.

Diokno said more government transactions are expected to be facilitated through EGov Pay transactions as the BSP continues to closely work with the payments industry, led by the Philippine Payments Management, Inc. to onboard government institutions and PESONet participating financial institutions.

“The sustained growth in EGov Pay transactions provides strong support to BSP initiatives to digitize person to government payments and to digitize at least half of retail payment transactions by 2023,” Diokno said.

“The EGov Pay is a testament to the government’s commitment to better serve its citizens by building an inclusive, safe and efficient digital payments ecosystem supportive of the diverse needs and capabilities of individuals and businesses, towards our vision of a cash lite economy,” he further said.

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