An online method of paying water bills will soon be available to consumers in Puerto Princesa City in a move to limit physical interaction as part of health protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) said.
Information officer Jenn Rausa said PPCWD is now working to implement the online payment through a series of meetings with partner agencies since it is one of the main concerns aired by consumers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hopefully, this year mag-materialize or next year dahil hindi naman simpleng usapan lang o agreement between water district and the partner agency. Kapag nasimulan natin ito, mas ma-ensure natin ‘yong ease para sa ating consumers, ’yong safety din nila lalo ngayong meron tayong pandemic, merong COVID,” Rausa said.
“Nag-start ‘yon late last year na makipag-usap kami with GCash, tapos meron din proposal ang USAID SURGE so ang kanilang [na-suggest] sa amin ay EasyPay, Paymaya at saka GCash. Tungkol naman sa bank transfer, BancNet, iyon ang hindi pa kami nakakapag-coordinate. Pero in other bayad centers maliban sa Palawan Pawnshop, SM, and Robinson’s, may signing na lang ng contract,” she said.
Rausa said that the implementation may start this year or in 2022 due to technical considerations to ensure real time receiving of payments of water consumptions.
PPCWD also need to coordinate with Commission on Audit (COA) as payments are needed to be remitted immediately, she added.
“Isa pa pala sa concern namin ay ‘yong COA, kailangan kasi na kapag nagbayad ka ay ma-remit kaagad. Ngayon, we have to coordinate with COA pa para ma-settle iyon. Marami talagang kailangan kausapin bago siya mag-work pero since nakita namin na nagawa naman ng Paleco, kaya rin dito sa water district, pag-usapan lang,” she said.
“Actually, meron kami dati, ‘yong EasyPay kaso ang naging issue ay with COA. Iyon na ang magbabayad through EasyPay tapos hindi agad nari-remit sa amin kasi everyday, nagca-cash count, may balanse na ginagawa, hindi siya nagma-match. Kumbaga nagkakaroon ng delay sa return o pagpasok ng pera at isa ‘yon sa tinitingnan natin that’s why kailangan naming i-coordinate with COA kung ano ang magiging payo nila kung paano maging convenient on both sides,” she explained
The city water district is also considering ways to avoid the delay in report of payments received and stability of connection needed to implement in online payment basis. Rausa said that these considerations are also based on the concerns of other water districts in the country.
“In-explain din sa amin ng Globe na kailangan meron kaming tuloy-tuloy na internet connection sa office kasi kung wala, hindi ma-a-access nong consumer. Iyon ang sinasabi ng Globe na we need to have our own separate na linya,” she said.