Ease of doing biz improves as e-payment gains ground
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - November 1, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The thrust to improve the ease of doing business in the country is given the much needed push with more and more government agencies embracing digital mode of payments.

“Payments complete the cycle for setting up or doing a business in the country, especially when applying for permits or remitting taxes, which is why having digital payments acceptance in the online portals of government agencies plays an important role in simplifying and improving government processes for doing business in the country,” said Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea.

According to Vea, digital payments form a critical component in making it simpler for interested parties and individuals to set up a business in the country, especially since more government agencies and local government units are already shifting their processes to digital.

With more and more government agencies adopting digital payments and shifting transactions online, the country's Ease of Doing Business ranking is expected to further improve, he underscored.

Vea made the statement following the recent Doing Business 2020 report released by the World Bank where the Philippines jumped 29 notches to rank 95th in the world in terms of ease of doing business.

The Philippines was the most improved economy in Southeast Asia according to the report, and among the top three countries that improved the most globally, next to Saudi Arabia and Togo.

Specifically, the country made great strides in the areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, protecting minority investors, and paying taxes, among others.

With more national agencies and local governments accepting digital payments either through their online portals or via their offices, Vea said he is optimistic the country could see vast improvements in our Doing Business rankings for next year.

Most recently, PayMaya beefed up its roster of government agency partners with the likes of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Home Development Mutual Fund (PAG-IBIG), the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Social Security System (SSS), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to allow the said agencies to accept digital payments such as credit, debit, and prepaid card payments online and within their offices, as well as emerging payment solutions such as the mobile wallet app of PayMaya.

With an encouraging regulatory regime supervised by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Vea said it’s not entirely impossible for the Philippines to leapfrog its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia once the World Bank releases an update to its report by next year.

“We are encouraged by the progressiveness of the government agencies we have partnered with and are currently talking to, because many of them are now open to improving their processes with the help of digital payments in order to deliver better public service to the Filipino people,” he added.

PayMaya is the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations, the leading technology company in the country backed by PLDT, KKR, Tencent, World Bank’s IFC and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

Its universal payments platform enables the country’s top eCommerce sites, major retail and quick-service restaurants, government institutions, as well as MSME to accept multiple kinds of cashless payments.

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