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NEDA Emphasises Importance of Digital Transformation in Delivering Government Services

Technology is not only improving people’s lives, but it is also making many jobs easier. Digital transformation enables a company to keep up with changing customer demands and, as a result, to thrive in the future. It enables businesses to compete more effectively in an economic environment that is constantly changing due to technological advancements. Proper management of the digital turnaround allows businesses to gain operational and productive advantages.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has stressed the importance of data science, analytics, and digital transformation that would help make better policies and deliver better services in government.

He acknowledged to the participants at the 2021 Analytics Summit PH the importance of digitalisation during the pandemic when social protection programmes must be delivered efficiently using information and communications technology (ICT). “I have always believed and advocated for digital transformation within the government to strengthen policy-making and service delivery. The government and businesses alike need to use data science to make better policies. This has become even more urgent in the new normal,” the NEDA director-general said.

The director-general also mentioned that the most difficult aspect of implementing the social amelioration programme (SAP) for 18 million families and the small business wage subsidy (SBWS) for 3.1 million workers was ensuring that these critical emergency responses reached the people, the majority of whom were unbanked or had no access to formal financial services.

“At the height of the crisis, there was no single registry or database of Filipinos to identify beneficiaries. At the same time, 71% of the total adult population did not have bank accounts, making it difficult to efficiently disburse the subsidies. This is why the President gave the directive to accelerate the implementation of the Philippine Identification System to provide all Filipinos with a unique and digitalised ID,” he said.

To deal with the pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority has implemented a three-step registration system to ensure the identification system’s safe and efficient implementation. Over 38.7 million people have signed up for step one, or demographic data collection, since October 2020.

“We envision the Philippine Identification System to spark the widespread use of banking services and electronic payments, thus accelerating the growth of the digital economy. This system may also facilitate the vaccination of the general population and the implementation of digital vaccine credentials in the future,” said the director-general.

Apart from the Philippine Identification System, he also identified the Public Service Act, the Foreign Investment Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalisation Act as priority legislation to help attract investments in key industries to support digital transformation.

“In particular, opening up the telecommunications sector, through the Public Service Act, will help improve internet services and strengthen our foundation for digitalisation. With better and cheaper internet, digital services like cloud computing will be more viable,” he then added.

OpenGov Asia reported that the COVID-19 has literally led a company’s digital transformation more than anyone else. The pandemic has significantly accelerated the digitisation of customer interactions. In terms of adapting to the digital way of life, there is also an increase in digital payments, with 38.88 million people in the Philippines making digitally enabled payment transactions as of January 2021.

Mastering the digital transformation process necessitates strong managerial and technical skills, leadership institutions, digital economy policies and regulations, and a competitive communication infrastructure and ICT industry. It advocates for strategies to fortify educational institutions and reposition them for the digital economy.

It encourages stakeholders to establish clear roles for government, business, and development partners, as well as to establish competent institutions to lead the transformation process. It addresses critical policy issues like privacy and cybersecurity. It fosters a local ICT services industry that contributes to a thriving transformation ecosystem.

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