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US - Philippine Partnership on E-payments Under Way
Source: www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Created: Apr 11, 2013

The United States Government and the City Government of Quezon City launched a new partnership to implement the use of e-payments for government services. 

An MOU was signed by US Embassy Manila’s US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gloria D Steele and Quezon City Mayor Herbert M Bautista, to agree on Quezon City being the pilot areas of the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) project. 

“We support the Quezon City Government in its aim to provide citizens a secure, transparent and convenient way to settle government fees and improve social welfare coverage through the use of mobile money technology,” Steele said. 

Under the SIMM, the USAID will help government agencies in optimising mobile money for payroll disbursement, distribution of social welfare stipends, and collection of fees for government services including utility services, real property taxes, business permits, and other local government fees. 

The project is also in line with the Philippine Government’s plan to foster financial inclusion by expanding citizen’s access to formal financial services and leveraging accountability and security in government transactions via digitisation of payment and collection systems. 

“This partnership supports the mutual goal of our governments to promote broad-based and inclusive growth in the country under the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth initiative,” US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. 

The SIMM involves various national and local government agencies and the private sector to leverage the local components of mobile money ecosystems in select pilot areas to accelerate adoption and use of mobile money as a development tool for financial inclusion and good governance. 

The project was firstly launched in November 2011 and aimed to provide a new framework for deepening and strengthening bilateral engagement between the Philippines and the US. It will also help foster higher, sustained and more inclusive economic growth trajectory aligned with other high-performing emerging economies. 

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