Innovation is often attributed to an idea or concept that was put into action that subsequently benefitted the majority by making processes easier and more streamline. In the field of science and technology, for instance, countless breakthroughs and discoveries have opened avenues for progress which other industries have utilized to make such services more convenient to the general public. Since today marks the International Creativity and Innovation Day, the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office) highlights some of the innovative ideas that the government has implemented in its agencies – the soon-to-be-implemented PhPay project and the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

The PhPay System – Paying for Government Services Online

Most of the public often harken back to stories of inefficiency and inconvenience that they have experienced at one point of their lives when it comes to transacting with government agencies. That said, the government, under AO 39, have made steps in addressing these issues and have come up with PhPay. The PhPay is slated to be an online payment system that will enable citizens and businesses to remit payments to government agencies electronically through various delivery channels such as debit instructions (ATM accounts), credit instructions (credit cards), and mobile wallets (SMS).

From the citizen’s standpoint, the PhPay system will be a convenient and efficient way of dealing with payments – they now have the option avoid the hassle of long lines and other discomforts that going to the physical government offices entail. Allowing the use of different modes of payments that include ATMs, credit cards, bank and non-bank over-the-counter payments, mobile wallets, mobile banking, and rural banks for government services ensures the public that they can pay their bills in a timely and hassle-free manner.

The PhPay system will also benefit government agencies, as online transactions lessens the need for face-to-face transactions which can lead to devious activity such as graft and corruption, as well as using of fixers to dabble with paperwork. At the end of each transaction day, online payments done via PhPay will go directly to the Bureau of Treasury – since the PhPay system will have connections to multiple channels, agencies that are opting to adopt the system can also save money and time by not going through the rigorous negotiations between different online payment service providers and their varying fees.

Getting Certification Digitally – The Public Key Infrastructure

One issue that might come up with the PhPay system is its reliability and security. In today’s digital age, one’s vital information might be illegally acquired during its transit online. The government is aware of this, and as such, have created the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) as a means of securely sending and exchanging sensitive data between government agencies and individuals, both persons and businesses alike.

The PKI issues digital certificates that are signed by a Certificate Authority as an assurance that the sender of the information is, indeed, the source, and that the data has not been tampered with during transit. Conversely, the PKI can also be used to encrypt data such as emails and online transactions which act as protection against the unauthorized access of such sensitive information.

Recently, the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project have conducted a series of orientation workshops on the PKI last April 13 and 20. Records officers and personnel of government agencies also underwent a seminar last March where an overview of the PKI and the uses and benefits of digital certificates were discussed. The participants also learned how to download, install and back up their digital certificates, and sign electronic documents as part of making government transactions and communications safe and secure.

Both the PhPay System and PKI are part of the iGovPhil Project – a joint project of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICT Office) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) – are just some of the steps being taken by the government to provide the citizens, businesses, and government agencies a smoother, more efficient way of handling transactions and delivering the necessary services promptly.

For more information about the Public Key Infrastructure, please click on this link. Likewise, to learn more about PhPay, kindly click here. If you wish to learn more about iGovPhil and their other projects, you can visit their website.