By CHINO S. LEYCO
Even with a national health crisis now besetting the country, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday that the government is ready to launch this year two digital-based programs aimed at improving tax compliance and expanding financial inclusion, especially among Filipino migrant workers.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that one of these initiatives – the Electronic Receipt and Invoicing, and Electronic Sales Reporting System or E-Invoicing – will be possibly launched by the third quarter to provide better and faster services to taxpayers.
Aside from the e-invoicing system, Dominguez said the Land Bank of the Philippines (Land¬bank) has also made good on its commitment to him to have the country’s first ever digital-only, branchless bank up and running by the end of June this year.
“The biggest (digitalization) program we’re working on now is e-invoicing. Once we get that e-invoicing program set up, that will mean a big step in e-governance already,” said Dominguez during a recent online hearing of the economic stimulus cluster of the Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC) of the House of Representatives.
“We have been working on that for the last year or so, and we should come to a conclusion, a good program by the middle of, or maybe the 3rd quarter of this year,” he added.
His statement was in response to a recommendation by Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte during the online DCC hearing for the government to strengthen and expand its digital-based pro-grams for frontline services.
The Overseas Filipino (OF) Bank, which will primarily benefit the country’s migrant workers, will utilize digital technology and smartphone apps to provide banking and other financial services, Dominguez said.
“We set up this OF Bank a couple of years ago. We’ve had problems with the technology but I think with Cecile’s leadership, we are almost ready to launch,” Dominguez said during the DCC meeting, referring to Landbank President-CEO Cecilia Borromeo.