QC – LGU adds convenience to taxpayers thru mobile money

mobilemoneyA new innovation in tax payment convenience was developed by the Quezon City Government in 2012, in partnership with the US Agency for International Development, under the “Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money” project (SIMM).

SIMM provides another mechanism for automating existing payment and collections systems for a faster, more secure, and more accountable management and tracking of government financial transactions.

Through SIMM, the city’s real property taxpayers, City college scholars and City-paid teachers can now transact with the city government simply by using their mobile phones.  This means that college scholars under the Scholarship and Youth Development Program, need not go to City Hall and queue just to get their stipends and allowances.  They will be notified by text messaging and the computer systems will provide complete tracking of transactions.

The service for paying real property taxes in Quezon City through mobile money officially began in January 2014.   This has been enabling taxpayers to pay their tax obligations using G-cash thru the mobile money system, instead of queuing here at City Hall.

The guidelines for the electronic collection and disbursement schemes were provided by the Commission on Audit through COA Circular 2013-007 (“Guidelines for the use of Electronic Official Receipts (eORs) to Acknowledge Collection of Income and Other Receipts of Government”), and by the City Council through Ordinance No. 2228, series of 2013 (“…Authorizing the City Treasurer to accept as mode of payment for taxes and fees from taxpayers through the use of over-the-counter payments in accredited banks, internet banking, automated teller machines and mobile money…”), which enable Quezon City residents to pay their taxes and other fees through mobile phones. This ordinance is an amendment to two other ordinances approved in 2002 and 2006, which previously allowed payment of taxes through credit cards and bank transactions, both over the counter and online through the Internet.

The ordinance allows our city government to enter into a memorandum of agreement or understanding with accredited banks as well as all mobile money service providers, and allows the City Treasurer to accept the payments of QC taxpayers through mobile money transmission.

USAID facilitated the City Government’s partnership with BPI Globe BanKO to provide the mobile money platform for the social transfers, and G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI) for the real property tax assessment and collection.

This provides added convenience to the city's taxpayers and business owners since the system enables them to pay their taxes and fees due without having to go to City Hall, and by just using their cellular phone to authorize payments. It complements the governance reforms being implemented by the Bautista Administration to make transactions with the city government more constituent-friendly.

The innovation is also expected to improve transparency, reduce potential leakage, of government funds, as well as make a 24-hour tax and fee payment operation possible.

At present, the SIMM project has also been benefiting the city’s microenterprise program in its loan disbursement and collections for beneficiaries of the Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurial Cooperative Office.  

The Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Office (SBECO) has applied SIMM to mobilize cooperatives, microfinance institutions (MFIs) and insurance companies in Quezon City to adopt and use mobile money for loan disbursements and collections. This effort seeks to strengthen and ensure the sustainable growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives in Quezon City through the use of innovative financial systems solutions and financial literacy training that will facilitate economic activities.

The benefits of SIMM to cooperatives:

  • Reduce operating costs of cooperatives, MFIs and MSMEs in loan disbursement and collections of loan amortization, micro insurance premiums, and savings from customers, etc.
  • Increase revenues by increasing the number of accounts that can be handled by account or loan officers.
  • Expand their membership base
  • Enable MFIs to offer new products or services.
  • Promote transparency in their cash receipts and disbursement
  • Enable faster loan disbursement turnaround time and reduce transaction costs of customers in receiving loan proceeds and paying loan amortizations as transactions are made instantly by the members.
  • Enable members to save transportation cost and opportunity cost as travel to the cooperative’s office and/or to a bank to receive the loan or to pay loan amortization and eliminate the risk of theft or robbery.

Additional Information on Mobile Money Payments to the Quezon City Government

How does the mobile money system work?
Mobile money generally refers to payment services performed from or via a mobile device such as a cellular phone. Instead of paying with cash or check and coming to City Hall to do it, a real property taxpayer in QC can use a mobile phone to pay for the RPT.

Right now, the Quezon City Government has tapped the services of G-Xchange, Inc., the mobile commerce arm of Globe Telecom, Inc., using the GCASH facility, to enable the easy payment of RPT via mobile phones. Later on, the LGU will tap other capable telecommunications providers for their own mobile money services, to expand the scope of cellular phone users who will be eligible for this system.

QC taxpayers may register to GCASH by dialing *143# on their cellular phones, select GCASH, Register, and provide the necessary information.

How can RPT payments be made using GCASH?
Payment of QC Real Property Tax can be made by dialing *137# using Globe/TM SIM; Select Quezon City on the list of cities; Choose Real Property Tax; Input the Tax Declaration Number; Confirm Tax Declaration Number for assessment; Choose which balance to pay (1) Current Quarter Balance or (2) Year-end Balance and Confirm payment details.

Who are eligible to pay their RPT using mobile money via GCash?
Initially, only current non-delinquent accounts may pay using their GCASH. Current non-delinquent accounts are accounts with no existing penalties and other liabilities from previous taxable years. Below are eligible Real Property Units (RPUs):

  • Fully paid for 2013 (318,000 RPUs as of December 1, 2013 from the total of 550,000)
  • Newly assessed properties
  • Unique tax declaration number and property index number
  • Single classification

What can I do for my Quezon City Real Property Tax via GCASH?
You may have your Real Property Tax in Quezon assessed and paid via GCASH.

Is this service only applicable to customers with real property in Quezon City?
Yes, only customers with properties (land, building, improvements, and machinery) in Quezon City can pay their RPT through this facility.

For Businesses:  No separate queue needed to pay community tax

Enterprises registering or renewing their permits to do business in Quezon City need not queue separately to pay the community tax.  The tax bill already integrates the amounts due for the community tax with the rest of the fees and charges payable by the business owner, in a single assessment.  

However, if the businessman needs a copy of the community tax itself, for purposes other than business registration or renewal, then it should obtain this certificate itself from the City Treasurer cashier.

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