While applying for a gun license may still be tough, the Philippine National Police is making it easier when it's payment time.
The PNP-Civil Security Group (CSG) has opened an online payment facility for those who need to register their guns and apply for a License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF). The Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) is under the PNP-CSG.
The e-payment scheme was made possible through a partnership between the PNP and the Landbank of the Philippines. The online payment facility is available under Landbank's e-payment portal (epaymentportal.landbank.com).
Launching the project during the group's 35th anniversary programme on Wednesday, the PNP-CSG chief, Director Elmer Soria, noted that under the new "paperless" system, the Order of Payment can be simply sent to the applicant's mobile phone number.
In August, the FEO and Landbank signed the memorandum of agreement to make the collection of gun license and permit fees nationwide more convenient.
The first phase of the partnership allowed payments over-the-counter at any Landbank branch. The e-payment scheme now allows payments any time, anywhere through an Internet-connected device.
"While provisions of the law are indeed harsh, we can bring licensing closer to the doorsteps of the licensees," said PNP Deputy Director General for Operations Danilo Constantino, reading out a message from PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez.
"The CSG is spreading efforts to make licensing and registration more efficient and simple," Constantino said. "[The e-payment portal] cuts down lines and waiting period for clients."
For now, however, the e-payment system for LTOPF and firearms registration is currently available only to owners of a Landbank ATM or debit card account.
But based on the presentation of Landbank officials, the facility will also be available soon for payers from BancNet member banks and those with international credit cards.
As of October this year, Soria said the PNP-CSG had processed 93,742 individual LTOPFs and registered 243,931 firearms since it started to implement the new Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law. LTOPF processing began January last year.
Revenues from license processing have reached P52,913,526 (S$1.6 million) in the past two months alone, Soria said.