The City Government of Valenzuela is the first local government unit (LGU) in the country to successfully complete the installation of internet, mobile phone, and visa card payment options which now allow its taxpayers settle their dues with more convenience.
The former “Simple, Speed, and Service” or 3S in Public Service was enhanced by the city government as the new “3S Plus,” meaning that there is now more innovation with the said Galing Pook winning program for Outstanding Local Governance in 2012.
Mayor REX Gatchalian believes that minimizing human interaction in government transactions is one of the best ways to completely eliminate bureaucratic red tape and avert graft and corruption practices.
“Apart from providing convenience to our taxpayers, these automated processes would also help the city government pursue its quest on good governance,” Mayor REX said.
Part of the 3S Plus program that deals with the expansion of payment facilities was institutionalized through Sangguniang Panlungsod Ordinance No. 75 Series of 2013, better known as “Automated Payment Tax System of Valenzuela City.” This ordinance is a testament to Valenzuela City’s recognition of the value of electronic payment toward enhanced tax collection, while ensuring that necessary mechanisms and procedures are employed to encourage taxpayers to pay and settle their tax obligations.
The first leg of the enhancement project was the development of online billing for Real Property Tax (RPT) September last year. Valenzuela City Information Technology Office (VCITO), the office designated as Information Communication Technology Office (ICTO), together with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) linked Internet Payment Gateway (IPG) to the official website of Valenzuela City last September, which paved the way to the local government’s readiness to accept credit card payments via the internet.
The second phase of the project was the installation of Point Of Sale (POS) machines by DBP at the Taxpayers Lounge in Gusaling Geronimo Angeles, also last September. Valenzuelano taxpayers were then empowered to use either of their ATM or Visa credit cards to settle their business license fees, real property tax, and engineering permits.
On December 7, the successful testing of mobile money, or the “m-money,” for RPT payment finally marked the completion of Valenzuela City’s targeted set up for tri-modal payment options. Now, private individuals who own properties in the Valenzuela City may conveniently pay their dues by simply using their cellular phones.
A previous local report highlighted that the City Government of Valenzuela and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) forged the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project to create an enabling environment for m-money services in the city. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by former mayor, now Valenzuela City First District Representative Cong. WIN Gatchalian, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment, Mr. Eric G. Postel, and USAID Philippines Mission Director Gloria G. Steele.
Valenzuela City’s business and investment platforms have garnered awards and citations from numerous credible organizations, such as, Most Business Friendly LGU for 2012 - Highly Urbanized City Category, by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI); one of the Business Friendly Cities in the country for 2011, by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation; and Top 1 Best Governed Highly Urbanized City for 2010, by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
These citations made the city one of the favorite destinations for study tour of local government units from different parts of the country. Moreover, Valenzuela City has been a choice venue for the implementation of the USAID Investment Benchmarking project.