Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez recently cited the help being extended by the private sector, including Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), in the digitization of the government’s subsidy programs.
In a Cabinet meeting last Aug. 25, Dominguez said to ensure the proper disbursement of cash aid to beneficiaries, distribution should be done via the banks and with the help of experts from the private sector such as UnionBank.
The finance chief presented to President Rodrigo Duterte few best practices that the government should implement in its future subsidy programs, namely digitization of such programs, direct distribution of aid to the bank or e-wallet accounts of intended beneficiaries, and close administrative oversight of critical steps of the program.
He said the expertise of private institutions is needed so that the government can effectively address any problem it might encounter when it comes to the implementation of cash aid distributions.
UnionBank, the Philippines’ leading digital bank and ranked as the second most helpful bank in Asia-Pacific during COVID-19, has been actively helping a number of government organizations in digitizing many of their essential services as part of the bank’s contributions to nation-building.
In early August, the city government of Paranaque partnered with UnionBank through its neo-banking arm EON for the Paraña-Cash Assistance Program, wherein they distributed EON cards that contained P5,000 worth of COVID-19 cash relief each to more than 50,000 beneficiary households.
In 2019, UnionBank was tapped by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for a new tax payment system that lets taxpayers pay their dues without needing to go physically to a BIR payment center.
Later in the same year, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) entered a service-level agreement with the bank to enable GSIS housing loan borrowers to settle their amortization online through the UnionBank Online mobile app. Two years prior, GSIS and UnionBank partnered for a card change program that made GSIS unified multi-purpose IDs more secure with the addition of EMV technology.