PH ready for electronic invoicing

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The Philippines is ready for the widespread adoption of electronic invoicing, as has been proposed by the Department of Finance (DoF) and the Korean Overseas International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), according to Leyte 2nd District Rep. Henry Ong, chairman of the House banks and financial intermediaries committee.

The DoF has said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and KOICA are preparing a feasibility study on the implementation of an electronic invoicing system. A $7.3 million grant from KOICA will fund the project’s initial phase to be participated in by some 100 pilot taxpayers.

Ong said his committee, worked hard to pass the National Payment Systems Act, now Republic Act 11127, which mandates the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to oversee payment systems in the Philippines and exercise supervisory and regulatory powers for the purpose of ensuring the stability and effectiveness of the monetary and financial system.

“Ngayon pa lang nagpapasalamat na ako sa KOICA at sa Finance Department. Napag-iwanan na tayo pagdating sa financial technologies pero kaya nating humabol. We have many mature corporations, retail establishments, transport firms, and other enterprises that see the wisdom and business sense in modernizing their operations to bring down costs and provide better customer service,” Ong said.

Ong also said he awaits the signing into law of the latest round of amendments to the BSP Charter. The bill was transmitted to Malacanang last 16 January.

In the amendments to the New Central Bank Charter, aside from raising capitalization to P200 billion from P50 billion, the BSP will have more forceful inspection and disciplinary authority over the banks and other financial institutions it regulates nationwide, Ong said.

“In layman’s terms, the amendments make it easier for the BSP to find out if bank officials and employees are doing things against the best interests of the depositors, clients, and the economy,” Ong said.

“Kapag naisabatas na ang House Bill No. 7742 at Senate Bill No. 1297, mas madali nang mabibisto ng BSP kung merong mga iregular na ginagawa ang mga opisyal at empleyado ng anumang bangko o financial intermediary sa Pilipinas,” he said.

Ong said the amendments boosted some penalties and empower the BSP to require the submission of specific reports, as well as information on the acts of officials and employees.

“These amendments incorporate what the BSP has learned about gaps in its supervision powers and how banks and financial intermediaries who tried to wiggle through grey areas and loopholes in the past. The amendments fill the gaps and plug loopholes,” Ong said.

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