Gov’t launches card for cashless transactions
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Systems and processes in government procurement are being enhanced to prevent wastage and corruption, President Aquino said yesterday as he launched a system of cashless transactions and open data for state transactions.

“If all goes well, the program will be rolled out and cashless purchase cards will be distributed in other national government agencies next year,” he said in a speech at the Good Governance Summit in Pasay City.

The first phase of the CPC (cashless purchase card) Program will take off in the first quarter of 2014, with the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of National Defense and the general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as pilot agencies for implementation, Aquino said.

Initially, the cards to be distributed would be used for selected purchases including medical supplies, meals, airline tickets and construction supplies for minor repairs.

Aquino said that in the future, a government director in a far-flung province may not anymore have to go through lengthy processes to secure funds for minor construction work or repair of offices.

Through the CPCs and other similar reforms, government financial transactions should be 100 percent “checkless” and 80 percent cashless before the end of this year, Aquino said.

Another initiative, Open Data Philippines, accessible through www.data.gov.ph beginning today, offers up-to-date national data – from total enrollment in public secondary schools over a certain period of time, to budget and procurement information.

“None of us should make the mistake of thinking that Open Data Philippines stops at being a repository of data. Its very name says otherwise. Opening data is about making statistics understandable, through the use of reader-friendly visualizations,” he said.

“The more technologically savvy among our countrymen can also make use of available data to participate and create their own visualizations and applications for the use of others. Among those already included in the website are applications that can help Metro Manila residents plan their daily commutes,” he added.

He stressed the program is also about empowering the people through information.

“I hope these examples have made it clear: all these processes and systems – all of these laws – are there to serve the people. The people are not here to be at the mercy of processes, especially when these processes have already become obsolete and counterproductive,” he said.

“After all, government exists precisely to improve the lot of the people they swore to serve and from whom they received their mandate,” he added.

Aquino said that when he accepted the mandate of the people in 2010, he did so without expecting that he would just be on a “merry-go-round” until the end of his term, “perpetuating the status quo and perhaps even exacerbating existing problems.”

Outdated

He said that under the present system of transaction, results don’t come out always as desired, no matter how strictly procedures are followed.

He cited the procurement of M4 assault rifles with specifications different from what had been agreed upon.

AQUINO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DATA DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE GOOD GOVERNANCE SUMMIT METRO MANILA OPEN DATA PHILIPPINES PASAY CITY PRESIDENT AQUINO
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