For Immediate Release
In partnership with the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Local Government of Valenzuela City launched an innovative system that will enable residents to pay their real property tax with cellular phones.
The mobile money payment system for real property tax is part of Valenzuela City’s “3S Plus” program: “Simple, Speed, and Service.”
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said, “This system aims to facilitate government transactions, reduce operating costs, and eliminate inefficient back-end operations. By adopting innovative means in government transactions, we believe this program will reduce bureaucratic red tape and strengthen our fight against graft and corruption.”
This system was introduced through USAID’s Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project, which supports the Philippine government’s promotion of financial inclusion by providing Filipinos access to formal banking and financial services to improve transparency, accountability, and security in government transactions by digitizing payment and collection systems. USAID facilitated the local government’s partnership with G-Xchange, Inc. for its GCash platform for the real property tax assessment and collection.
USAID Mission Director Ms. Gloria Steele said, “The U.S. Government sees mobile money as a game-changing tool for development, and we are pleased to partner with Valenzuela City in this pioneering effort. Through this innovation, Valenzuela City residents now have the convenience of paying their taxes anytime and anywhere without the long, time-consuming queues and trips to the city hall.”
In addition to mobile money, Valenzuela City accepts online and point of sale (POS) payments made using automated teller machines (ATM) and VISA credit cards for real property tax, business license fees, and engineering permits.
“Supporting Valenzuela City in achieving a more responsive government with the help of an innovative technology is a big step towards enhancing ease of doing business, encouraging investments, improving public service and boosting the people’s productivity,” said Director Steele.
USAID’s SIMM Project works with various national and local government agencies and the private sector to build and strengthen the local components of mobile money ecosystems in select pilot areas to accelerate the adoption and use of mobile money as a development tool to promote financial inclusion and good governance. The project contributes to the Philippine and the U.S. shared goal to accelerate inclusive growth for all Filipinos under the bilateral Partnership for Growth.
Last updated: July 25, 2014