Bridging the Gap: Pioneering Partnership Offers Financial Access for CDO Residents and Improves Government Services

Bridging the Gap: Pioneering Partnership Offers Financial  Access For CDO Residents And Improves Government Services
Mission Director Gloria Steele and Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno hand over the City’s business permit plate to an entrepreneur during the launch of the mobile money services and online business registration.

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro launched an innovative system today (October 22) that will allow residents to pay government taxes and utility bills anytime, anywhere using their mobile phones.

With the tagline “Mobile Money Nata Karon!” (We are into mobile money now!), CDO residents may now access mobile money payment services for property tax, business permits, traffic citations, and other fees through USAID’s Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project.

CDO is one of the first three Cities Development Initiative (CDI) cities, where USAID has focused its multi-sectoral support for economic development. As part of CDI, USAID’s SIMM project will streamline the city’s priority agenda to increase revenue generation by improving efficiency in tax collection. It will also augment the newly completed automation of the city’s business process and licensing system.

The CDI is a key element of the Partnership For Growth, which focuses on strengthening the economic competitiveness and resilience of secondary cities. Through CDI, the U.S. Government is working with the Government of the Philippines, the private sector and civil society organizations to put the Philippines on an accelerated growth trajectory that benefits the majority of its population.

Apart from working with the local government unit, USAID will also work with local utilities like the CDO City Water District and the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company in carrying out the city’s electronic payment system.

CDO City Mayor Oscar Moreno said, "This partnership is about collaboration involving the private sector players and government, where the latter's services are made more accessible to the public it serves. We thank USAID for making this partnership possible - a breakthrough in the way government operates".

"Mobile money is an innovative technology that can improve financial services in the Philippines. It as a transformative tool for development that can uplift the lives of Filipinos,” USAID Mission Director Gloria D. Steele stressed. “We have a long standing partnership with CDO and we are pleased to collaborate once again in this pioneering effort in Mindanao.”

The U.S. Government aims to help boost Filipinos’ access to financial services throughout the country by leveraging mobile money technology, its low cost structure, and wide mobile phone ownership and usage. USAID works with various national and local government entities, as well as involving the private sector, to strengthen the local components of mobile money ecosystems in different cities in the country.