The province of Davao del Norte (DavNor), in collaboration with Globe Telecom and its subsidiary G-Xchange, Inc. (GCash), has launched the Alternative Government Revenue Collection and Disbursement and Citizen ID system for all provincial residents and employees. The announcement was one of the highlights of the 50th founding anniversary of DavNor which was graced by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The partnership seeks to enhance access to financial and social services of DavNor residents and employees, and is part of the overall plan to increase the province’s global competitiveness through information and communications technology (ICT) and financial technology.
“As we aim to gain vantage position in today’s increasingly globalizing world, we are highly upbeat about the golden opportunities brought by the President’s Build Build Build Program. In return, we shall match these massive infrastructure development with no-nonsense projects that aim to ensure the continued relevance and growth of the Province. This include the Mynt’s cashless ecosystem for government transactions and citizen ID system that we are launching together with Globe Telecom. This innovation shall enhance our clientele-focused mindset cutting down on costs and speeding up our processes to better serve our citizens in an efficient and responsive manner,” declared Davao del Norte Governor Antonio Rafael del Rosario.
“Globe has been harnessing the power of new digital opportunities that will hopefully enable growth in every city and make the Philippines a truly digital nation. We share in the vision of the Davao del Norte provincial government to make the province a truly connected one and enable the delivery of services to the people to become more efficient and cost-effective,” said John Rubio, President of Mynt which operates GCash, a mobile micro-payment service that transforms a mobile phone into a virtual wallet for secure, fast and convenient money transfers.
More than 300,000 residents of Tagum City and the municipality of Carmen are projected to benefit under the project. Initially, around 18,000 employees from the two areas will serve as pilot beneficiaries of the DavNor-GCash co-branded Citizen IDs by September this year. The Citizen ID card functions as a valid government-issued ID card and can be used to avail various social services, transact with government and purchase goods and services.
The project will help promote a cashless ecosystem both in business and in government. There are 65 merchants and local government facilities in DavNor which can now accept GCash e-payments using their DavNor GCash accounts. Thus, residents can now pay their local taxes such as business permits, local property tax and other mandated fees through GCash Local Government Mobile Services.
Likewise, the GCash PowerPay+ platform allows monetary benefits such as payroll and salaries which are accorded to government employeesas well as financial assistance for senior citizens and students to be credited to their GCash wallets directly and in real-time. This helps improve operational efficiency in government by tracking cash flow and offering lesser risks in the handling of cash for beneficiaries.
To help spur an entrepreneurial mindset among residents and fuel economic growth, Mynt is also offering “Fuse Business Loans” which are quick, easy and non-collateralized loans minus the usurious rates offered by informal lending networks. At present, around 25 micro, small, and medium-size enterprises in the province have already been approved for loans amounting to as high as P1 million.
Meanwhile, Globe provides connectivity through direct Internet and public wi-fi access in select locations. A Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol allows agencies to connect to select remote agencies such as hospitals and rural health units while Enterprise Content Management enables real-time data capture, data management, data analytics and reporting tools, dashboarding capabilities for cloud for better archiving and data/document management. All these can provide DavNor with better and highly-efficient governance and service delivery to constituents.
Globe has been ramping up network investments in a bid to amplify benefits of its new spectrum assets and enhance mobile services particularly for data. It is also aggressively building on its fiber broadband services with the aim of deploying fiber optics in 20,000 barangays by 2020 for ultra-fast internet access to around two million homes nationwide.
The province of Davao del Norte has been ranked #15 among the 68 most competitive provinces in the country. It is composed of 3 composite cities and 8 municipalities with 223 barangays all in all. Around 1.07 million people reside in the province, with 259,444 people in 23 barangays living in Tagum City, the province’s capital.