US Government and Zamboanga City Enter into New Partnership to Promote Adoption of E-Payments

Zamboanga City, September 16, 2015 — U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the City Government of Zamboanga signed a new partnership that will allow residents to pay government taxes and fees anytime, anywhere using electronic channels.

  USAID’s E-PESO Activity will introduce new electronic payment (e-Payment) systems, using innovative technology, to support Zamboanga City’s goal of increasing revenue generation through improved and more transparent tax collection.

  This cooperation is part of USAID and Zamboanga City’s collaboration under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI). A key element of the Partnership for Growth, CDI focuses on strengthening the economic competitiveness and resilience of secondary cities to become engines of growth.

  Under the PFG, the U.S. government is working with the Government of the Philippines, the private sector and civil society organizations to put the Philippines on an accelerated growth trajectory that benefits the majority of its population.

  Prior to formalizing the cooperation, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco signed Executive Order BC 129-2015 to regulate cooperation on electronic payment systems and make Persons-to-Government payments more accessible. The Executive Order also mandated the creation of a technical working group composed of Zamboanga City local division chiefs and key personnel tasked to work with E-PESO counterparts on the project.

  To develop the local electronic payments ecosystem, USAID and the Zamboanga City government will also work with local utility companies and businesses.  Members of the private sector represented by the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., Zamboanga Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc., and the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association were on hand to signify their commitment to support the shift to electronic payment systems.