Last July 30, 2020, Justice Francisco P. Acosta (Ret), Secretary and Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the President and CEO of CIS Bayad Center, Inc. (CBCI) and Multisys Technologies Corporation (Multisys)—Lawrence Y. Ferrer and David L. Almirol Jr., respectively—in a virtual ceremony, announcing the CFO online system’s capacity to accept digital payments.

Three days prior, in the fifth State of the Nation Address, President Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte had directed government agencies to digitize their transactions. To quote, “Panahon na para mawala ang pila para mapagsilbihan ng gobyerno nang walang kahirapan para sa tao. We need to adjust and adapt in a paperless type of business and work performance. We need e-governance.”

With Justice Acosta’s direction, the CFO was already quite advanced in terms of digital services. Back in March 28, 2020, the CFO had already implemented the OF-CORS, or the Overseas Filipino-CFO Online Registration System. In this initiative, CFO clients can access CFO services online. These include securing CFO stickers and certificates through delivery, PDOS and virtual counseling programs. The only thing lacking to fully implement this contactless registration is an electronic payment and collection system.

Swiftly responding to the President’s orders, Justice Francisco Acosta, and the rest of the CFO staff searched for ways to innovate the agency’s payment and collection services. Barely three days after the SONA, the CFO has officially partnered with Multisys and Bayad Center in a tripartite agreement, thus completing the government agency’s quest for easy and contactless registration processes.

In his message, Justice Acosta said, “Last month, we celebrated our Commission’s 40th anniversary, and this is still a fitting tribute… The realization of this project is crucial to achieving our goal of providing relevant, accessible, high-quality, and efficient services to our clients, majority of whom are emigrants to other countries.”

He highlighted the importance of working together with the financial technologies developed by the private sector in order to deliver more convenient payment services for all Filipinos throughout the archipelago. Looking at the bigger picture, he stressed that this is a crucial step in reaching the country’s financial inclusion objectives.

“As a member of the BSP-led Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, this is also our way of contributing to the national strategy for financial inclusion crafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” he remarked, “Let us continue to innovate and embrace change around us.”