By February 2014, expect the long queues for government transactions to start disappearing as PhPay – an Internet-based electronic payment facility developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – is expected to go live by that month.
This was revealed during the year-end activity of the Integrated Government Philippines iGovPhil) Project last December 11, 2013 at Ayala Land Techno-Hub in Quezon City.
PhPay will allow the public to pay for government transactions through online delivery channels, including ATM accounts, credit cards, bank and non-bank over the counter payments, mobile wallets (SMS), mobile banking and rural banks, among others. It is among the products and services under iGovPhil, a joint project of DOST agencies Information and Communications Technology Office and Advanced Science and Technology Institute, which aims to make interactive, interconnected, and efficient government collaboration possible.
According to Jops Josef, project leader of PhPay, several private payment aggregator companies have offered their services for PhPay including Dragon Pay, Master Card, LBC and Rural Net.
“What it offers is convenience to citizens and government agencies. A citizen will not spend for fares or gas and parking fees, and food. Paying online will also save the citizen time for not falling in line. It also lessens the opportunity for graft and corruption as it eliminates face-to-face contact and promotes transparency on payments made to the government,” Josef said.
A convenience fee will be collected for each online, which possibly cost 10-40 pesos per transaction.
The Bureau of Treasury (BTr) will play a crucial role in implementing this system, as it will serve as single-government merchant in the whole electronic payment process. Traditionally, each agency is required to deposit payments to BTr at the end of each transaction day. However, PhPay will shorten this process by allowing the payments to go directly to BTr.
The system may even further improve once engagement terms with the payment aggregators have been finalized, Josef revealed.
He advised government agencies with existing contracts with other online payment system providers to honor these contracts. “PhPay is only here to give them other options, especially when their contracts expired,” he added.
At present, ICTO is looking forward to include government owned and controlled corporations and state universities and colleges under PhPay’s coverage in the project’s next phase. As of late, 43 national government agencies have shown interest in PhPay. These agencies will undergo assessment to determine if they are qualified and capable of offering these services.
PhPay is currently undergoing pilot testing, with the Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Industry and National Computer Center of ICTO as clients. For more information about PhPay and other services and products of iGovPhilippines Project, log on to i.gov.ph or checkout the Integrated Government Philippines Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/iGovPhil?ref=br_tf .
Image above is the , a government online payment system that will enable the public and institutions to undertake government transactions through online delivery channels including debit instructions (ATM accounts), credit instructions (credit cards) and mobile wallets. The system will avoid long lines for government transactions, travel time and bureaucratic red tapes. DOST through its attached agencies, Information and Communications Technology Office and Advanced Science and Technology Institute developed PhPay, which is under the Integrated Government Philippines Project or iGovPhil. (Photo from iGovPhilippines website)