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Accelerating Digitalisation of Philippine Government Services

With an increased focus on making government services more efficient, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration is accelerating digital transformation in the first six months. The Philippines Presidential palace, Malacañang, identified programmes and policies being done to put a premium on digitalising, harmonising and standardising government data.

Among them is the enhancement of TradeNet, a one-stop online shop aimed at reducing processing time and harmonising the permitting procedures involved in the country’s import and export. The platform has been available since 2017 in collaboration with the Departments of Finance and Information and Communications Technology.

In collaboration with other government agencies, the Anti-Red Tape Authority will pursue the National Policy on Regulatory Management System (NPRMS), which provides a common framework for good regulatory practices and enforcement and compliance strategies.

“The government intends to advance NPRMS components such as the Philippine Business Regulations Information System to provide stakeholders and government agencies with access to proposed and existing government regulations while avoiding overlapping,” Malacañang confirmed.

It will also encourage the Anti-Red Tape Electronic Management Information System (ARTEMIS) to provide a live database and map all government services outlined in the Citizen’s Charter. The Philippine Good Regulatory Principles will be implemented through dialogues between regulators and entities to promote proportionate, consistent, accountable, and targeted regulations.

The Department of Trade and Industry is pushing for an Executive Order on Green Lane for Strategic Investments to create a more favourable business ecosystem. The national government will increase its assistance through needs-based and targeted interventions, such as the Growth Equity Fund, as part of the devolution of functions to local government units (LGU).

The fund will be proposed to Congress under Executive Order 138, or the Full Devolution of Certain Executive Branch Functions to Local Governments, to cover the funding requirements of projects for the poor, disadvantaged, and lagging LGUs to enable them to integrate the functions devolved to them.

The government will also optimise its information and communications technology resources by developing and implementing interoperable systems that will allow for the seamless sharing of data sources, such as the Philippine Identification System and the electronic Business Permits and Licensing Service.

Similarly, the administration will address justice system fragmentation by implementing the National Justice Information System and Middleware Exchange Platform. The Department of Budget and Management will focus on rolling out digital systems to promote prudent fiscal management and improve budget reliability, including the passage of the Progressive Budgeting for Better and Modernised Governance (PBBM) Bill, the development and implementation of the Budget and Treasury Management System, and the pursuit of the National Government Rightsizing Programme.

The Department of Budget and Management will focus on rolling out digital systems to promote prudent fiscal management and improve budget reliability, including the passage of the Progressive Budgeting for Better and Modernised Governance (PBBM) Bill, the development and implementation of the Budget and Treasury Management System, and the pursuit of the National Government Rightsizing Programme.

Aside from speeding up government digitalisation, President Marcos Jr. invited enterprises to engage in digitalising processes to strengthen the nation’s local industries and reduce their reliance on imports. The president of the Philippines stated that imported goods continue to be the leading cause of inflation and that import substitution must be considered. For its part, the Philippine government is dedicated to accelerating economic growth with the broader objectives of reducing poverty and reviving job creation.

The President also emphasised the government’s efforts to improve business ease, public-private partnerships, and bureaucratic efficiency through the development and digitalization of information and communication technology (ICT).

The Philippine economy is on track to maintain its good economic performance and meet the government’s growth target of 6.5% to 7.5% this year. The country’s growth rate appears to be robust with inflation under control, the peso is slightly strengthening in comparison to other currencies, and the unemployment rate appears to be reasonable given the circumstances.

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