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DICT and DFA Collaborate to Digitise Philippine Consular Services

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was made between the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to improve the DFA’s digital services.

The MoU was signed by the DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy and the DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo. The two departments will work together to digitise consular services, such as processing Philippine passports, visas, and legal papers.

The MoU is meant to make it easier for the DFA and the DICT to connect their systems and make sure they can work together. This can be done by making sure that all applications are in sync and work well simultaneously.

DICT Secretary Ivan said that the signing of the MOU was one of the many things that DICT does to help the different government departments digitalise their processes and systems, which will change the way people do business with the government.

The agencies highlighted the visa, the passport, and the apostille as requiring considerable resources, mostly human resources and physical resources that can be addressed digitally.

DFA Secretary Enrique, on the other hand, emphasised the importance of the initiative and the directive to speed up the digitalisation of government services for the public, which is in line with the country’s digital transformation plan. He also said that the two departments work together because they both want to help the country. With this MOU, the DFA and DICT will make huge steps towards improving field services.

In addition, DICT Secretary Ivan joined a panel of experts at the WB-IMF Spring Meetings to discuss the Philippines’ digitalisation journey and how the country is aggressively rolling out initiatives and pursuing collaborations with the private sector and international organisations to bridge the digital divide.

The WB-IMF Spring Meetings provided a forum for countries to share their experiences and objectives, where representatives from Southeast Asia met to assess the current state of digital transformation in the region within the context of the digital landscape of East Asia and the Pacific.

Through the exchange of information between national leaders and experts, the Philippine delegation has acquired insights that can be incorporated into the country’s ICT policies and programmes, thereby creating solutions with the potential to advance the nation’s digital agenda.

In addition to identifying the difficulties in deploying several modern technologies, the Secretary cited cyber threats and assaults as obstacles to digital transformation. The agencies have the dual responsibility of providing the nation with the enabling tools of connectivity, e-governance services, and digital payments, while also ensuring that they do so in a secure environment and educating the citizens to be able to anticipate or at least comprehend that with all these advantages come certain risks and exposure.

He further described the effects of public policies in facilitating digital transformation in public service delivery, as well as their crucial role in promoting private sector development at the national and regional levels.

DICT Secretary Ivan discussed about how the Philippines can become more digital by speeding up the development of digital infrastructure and improving e-government systems. In line with this, he said that the DICT is always putting in place digital connections, even in remote areas with few people and little money to spend. He also talked about how important public-private partnerships and working with other countries are to reach their goals for digital growth.


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