Remarks by Roger Carlson, USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director, Launching of e-Payments Ecosystem

Thursday, August 27, 2015

[As Prepared]


Buenas tardes! (Good afternoon!)

I am very pleased to join you today to mark this new partnership between the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the City Government of Zamboanga.

The U.S. Government supports the Philippine Government’s efforts to promote good governance and sustained inclusive growth in the Philippines. These efforts, which are consistent with the Partnership for Growth (PFG) between the U.S. and Philippine Governments, focus on addressing the binding constraints to sustained, more inclusive economic growth in the Philippines.

USAID’s E-PESO program is designed to support the Philippines’ commitment to achieve a 20-fold increase in electronic payment (e-Payment) usage and the development of an economic infrastructure that will enable Filipinos to access new financial products. It will provide a broader range of financial services that can help Filipinos build assets, better withstand shocks, and participate in the formal economy. It is a key to achieving inclusive growth and in the long run help eliminate extreme poverty.

The Philippines is providing a good model for other countries to follow as you lead the way with the digitization of government financial transactions. E-PESO will make the payment of taxes, permits and other government-to-person (G2P) or business-to- government (B2G) transactions easier and more accessible to the Zamboanguenos. E-Payments can be made right at the convenience of your home or your office, saving you time from physically queuing or traveling just to settle your obligations.

I see bright prospects for the Philippines in achieving its targets in good governance and sustained inclusive growth. Today, we see an excellent example of how local governments, like Zamboanga City, are committed to becoming more responsive with the help of an innovative technology that promotes transparency and accountability in the performance of the regulatory role of the government.

I congratulate the Zamboanga City Government under the dynamic leadership of Mayor Isabelle Climaco, our technical working group, and the private sector for championing the efforts to expand financial inclusion. Considering that Zamboanga City is one of the biggest cities in Mindanao, other cities and municipalities will be encouraged to replicate and take advantage of e-Payment solutions.

I can see that being open to technology and good governance is becoming the new norm in this country. And with our private and public sector partners on board, I am confident that we can expand the usage and adoption of e-Payments and give more Filipinos the means to contribute to the economy, while providing better lives for their families.

I urge you to sustain your commitment to good governance and I wish you continued success in your economic reform efforts.

Muchisimas gracias a todos!

Issuing Country