Thursday, May 23, 2024

House bills on digital payments, use of e-money hurdle committee level

The House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chaired by Manila representative Irwin Tieng approved on Tuesday, Feb. 14, two bills seeking to promote the adoption of digital payments for financial transactions.

House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chair Irwin Tieng (center) with fellow solons during the hearing
Photo from Congress

According to Tieng, the intent of House Bills 275, 358, 2946, 3737, 4344, and 5073, or the proposed “Use of Digital Payments Act”, is advantageous for both the merchant and the customer.

With digital payments, merchants would no longer need to hire a cashier to handle physical currency while the buyer would no longer need to prepare coins and bills for payment, Tieng said.

Tieng added that the sales of the merchant will be more secure because electronic payments will go directly to the store’s account, which cannot be easily pilfered or stolen by employees or shoplifters.

Tieng also cited the lesser face-to-face transactions between government agents and customers as another advantage under a digital payment regime, minimizing both disease transmission and possible opportunities for corruption.

HBs 2224 and 2748, or the proposed “Use of Electronic Money Act of 2022”, meanwhile, also hurdled the committee level.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) assistant secretary Sarah Daway-Ducanes expressed her agency’s support for the bills, noting that these are aligned with the strategy of accelerating digital transformation in the government in the practice of good governance and improved bureaucratic efficiency espoused in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

The proposed laws are also aligned with the strategies of promoting safe and efficient national payments system, part of the consolidated draft of the e-Governance Bill which is a priority measure of the current administration included in the common legislative agenda of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) assistant vice president Leopoldo Resmundo and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary David Almirol also manifested their support for the bills.

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