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Friday, 4 August 2023

Digital card soon to handle gov't purchase transactions

BUTUAN CITY --- Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman on Thursday, August 3, signed with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) President/CEO Lynette V. Ortiz a  Memorandum of Agreement on the use of a government purchase card (GPC) that simplifies, in a faster, cost-efficient way, the purchase of goods and services by government agencies.

The GPC — a charge/credit card to be issued and facilitated by Landbank to authorized government personnel, and programmed with pre-assigned credit limits and merchant restrictions — is part of DBM’s pursuit of the government’s digital transformation program for the entire bureaucracy.

It can be used to pay for government agencies’ immediate miscellaneous expenses without going through the time-consuming paperwork and requisition process.

Secretary Pangandaman hailed the MOA signing as an important collaboration with Land Bank — a milestone for cost savings and another step towards the achievement of bureaucratic efficiency and ease of doing business.

“In December last year, we were gathered here for the agreement signing of the online release of the Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA). As I have stated then, the online release of NCAs through the DBM’s action document releasing system will save the government approximately P2.8 million per month, or P33 million annually… And now… with the agreement signing of another game-changing digital initiative, the use of a government purchase card or GPC, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Land Bank of the Philippines for partnering with us and making sure that this initiative will be implemented at the soonest possible time,” the secretary said.

“It will significantly reduce administrative costs by lessening cash and check handling and paperwork; simplifying reconciliation processes; shortening the requisition process; and promoting employee convenience. The GPC will also enhance control by having a pre-defined credit limit feature, expense capture and monitoring, and a secure payment process," the budget secretary added.

LBP CEO Ortiz reaffirmed the government financial institution’s adherence to the responsibilities of good governance.

“Land Bank is certainly one with the DBM in the shared commitment of enhanced operational efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the disbursement of public funds. Through the GPC, we aim to further streamline the purchase of goods and services, thereby the delivery of meaningful and responsive public service,” Ortiz said.

“Following the successful partnerships with the Bureau of Treasury (Btr) and Department of Finance (DOF), we are confident that DBM will also benefit from the use of GPC to eliminate procurement lead time, facilitate quicker payments, and lowered administrative costs for purchases. Just to share with you, from January to June 2023 alone, the Land Bank GPC has facilitated for the BTr and the DOF 998 combined transactions with a value of P5.1 million for various purchases and payments,” Ortiz added.

Among the GPC’s features are a 30-day revolving credit with full settlement on due date; access to point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions; global acceptance; email alerts for all GPC transactions regardless of amount; and electronic statements of account.

Its benefits for government agencies include reduced administrative costs; enhanced control of expenses and cash liquidity management.

DBM Chief of Staff, Atty. Leo Angelo Larcia and LBP Senior Vice President Ma. Celeste A. Burgos, both signed as witnesses to the MOA.

Also present in the event were other DBM senior officials such as Undersecretaries Wilford Will Wong, Maria Francesca Del Rosario, Goddes Hope O. Libiran, and other assistant secretaries, directors and division chiefs. (DBM/PIA-Caraga)