MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Wednesday that the newly-launched administration’s Cashless Purchase Card (CPC) program will address the alleged misuses of funds in the government.
“Our goal is to institutionalize reforms that make it very difficult for unscrupulous individuals to steal from the people – regardless of who sits in office. This is where the introduction of cashless transactions comes in,” the Chief Executive said in his speech during the Good Governance Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
President Aquino led the ceremonial turnover of the Cashless Purchase Card during the 3-day summit which has for its theme “Good Governance through Open Government and Sustainable Procurement.”
The program, which is a joint effort between the Aquino administration and Citibank, enables the government agencies to make financial transactions entirely through electronic means instead of cash or checks.
“A recent study identified that one of the major financial risks remaining is the high volume of cash advances in agencies. The risks of this kind of system are obvious: the presence of large sums of cash in offices can pose a temptation to even the most honest employee – not to mention those who would willingly take advantage of such a situation,” President Aquino said.
“It is only appropriate that we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Procurement Reform Act by introducing a mechanism that modernizes government procurement: the launch of the Cashless Purchase Card or CPC Program. Cashless purchase cards will be issued to agencies, for low-value payments of a restricted number and type of goods and services,” the President said.
The turnover ceremony signaled the launch of the pilot phase of the Cashless Purchase Card system, which will be implemented in the three agencies, namely the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of National Defense, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“We are far from being a cashless society: 98 percent of all retail financial transactions in our country are still made in cash. The government seems to be ahead of the market, with 54 percent of its financial transactions already done through a cashless system. And, for the sake of accountability and efficiency, we are pushing the envelope further,” the President stressed.
The President said the cashless card will resemble ordinary credit cards, but will have additional restrictions more suited to the needs of government.
Through the Cashless Purchase Cards and other similar reforms, the President said the government financial transactions should be 100 percent checkless and 80 percent cashless before the end of this year.
“The cashless purchase cards will allow them to procure the necessary materials immediately – and, given that accounting for transactions is automatically done, suspicious use of the card can be tracked easily. On top of that, this system also allows us to capture and collate the correct data, which redounds to real benefits,” he said. (MNS)