Muntinlupa’s smart card

June 30, 2019

Already adjudged by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce as the Most Business Friendly LGU last year, the Muntinlupa City government under Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi, recently  stepped up its services to its constituents.

Leveraging the latest in smart card technology, Muntinlupa distributed the other week the upgraded  Muntinlupa Care Card (MCC) Plus to qualified beneficiaries.

In addition to its  current uses, the upgraded card will enable  beneficiaires to avail of free rides aboard Muntinlupa’s growing fleet of e-jeepneys.

Incidentally, Muntinlupa is among the very first LGUs to utilize the eco-friendly transport system.

Muntinlupa adopted the earlier version of the card in 2017 as a means  to easily distribute cash benefits and allowances from the city government as well as use it for payments and to avail of rewards in more than 5,000 digitally-enabled small businesses and merchants within Muntinlupa.

The project was launched with the cooperation and assistance of PayMaya.

“MCC Plus is currently the most advanced citizen card because it brings so many benefits to our constituents, from availing of health services to receiving their scholarship funds, and even getting free rides around the city. This partnership with PayMaya will open a whole new world of opportunities for our constituents in the growing digital economy,”Mayor Fresnedi said.

Further easing doing business

The recent signing into law by President Duterte of the Ease of Doing Business Act is definitely a step in the right direction. The new law amends the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

The new law prescribes specific periods for completing transactions with government , beyond which periods the said transactions are deemed approved, if no action is  taken either for approval or disapproval.

The new law also streamlines procedures for basic transactions such as securing clearances and certificates.

Well and good. But the problem, as always, has been in the execution.

Consider this “live case” passed along to this representation  by a frustrated resident from Iloilo.

“I wish to bring out in the light the primitive operation of Bureau of Immigration (BI) in the Philippines.

“It is a paper and pen based operation. There is hardly any computerized action there. In many other government agencies like NBI, passport, PSA, etc, you go online and make your application and payments, but not in BI. There you go to the office and collect a number of forms, go home and, by hand,  fill up the many pages of forms, make a number of photostat copies, go back to BI and submit the pile of papers, pay cash to the cashier, make more photostat copies and the bundle of papers are sent with messenger to Manila head office for decisions, stamps and signatures. The local district office of BI in the province is just a glorified mailbox.

“Red tapes are plenty in BI, but it seems to me that this agency is not included in the drive to simplify administration. I have lost count of how many times I have been fingerprinted and photos taken of me. Every time you have to do it again, there seems not to be a system to archive such info, and scanned copies of passport and other documents in the case. More photostat copies!

“BI is also an agency that operates against the general public, and particularly foreigners, thus it is a face of Philippines toward the rest of the world. It does not give a good picture of the Philippines! It is very primitive operation.

“Can you ask somebody in the Congress to do something? BI takes in a lot of cash to the government, so there are funds that could be used to modernize this agency.

“Christer Bertz

Iloilo City”

The foregoing is the kind of feedback that World Bank-International Finance Corp keeps getting about the Philippines.  

Is it any wonder then that we keep landing in the bottom half of 190 countries annually ranked by WB-IFC in terms of global competitiveness?

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