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Bills to Accelerate Digitalisation in the Philippines

When the Philippine Congress resumes on November 7, it will expedite the plenary adoption of laws to digitise the government’s extensive records under the planned E-Governance Act and E-Government Act.

The House of Representatives wants to employ a digital platform to make government transactions and service delivery faster, more effective, and more transparent. Hence, a technical working group (TWG) has already been established by the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology to combine the planned E-Governance Act and E-Government Act.

The House of Representatives pledged to combine the two proposals during the most recent Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting.

The House of Representatives tells the public that they are making every effort to provide speedier service and reduce red tape in government transactions and have already started their digitalisation programme. They cited that the most effective way to close the gap in how government services are delivered is clearly through digitalisation.

The improvement of the nation’s digital infrastructure is a commitment made by Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The President stated during his speech at the National Information and Communications Technology Summit 2022 that his government will help the E-Governance and E-Government measures pass quickly.

In addition, Marcos urged other government institutions to work together to create an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry that is better and more progressive for the interest of the public service.

Moreover, the proposed law, which is intended to be the nation’s first significant step toward an institutional and whole-of-government approach to digitising governance for better governance and a safer future, considers what the country has learned from the recent pandemic while drawing from the experiences of technologically advanced nations and the best practices of those who have started the push for e-governance.

The relevance of the digital transformation and usage of electronic services and platforms to enable the government to better serve the people must be considered and adopted by the government in a very radical but practical way, according to the new normal.

This bill requires the establishment of an internal records management information system, an information database, and digital portals for the provision of public services as well as an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource sharing and communications network spanning the entire national and local government.

For a more effective and transparent public service, it also advocates for the digitisation of paper-based and other old ways of processing. By taking this action, the government will do away with the delays and other issues that come with the conventional method of governance when it comes to communications, resource sharing, and information sharing.

More crucially, this step will give the public—the backbone of the nation’s existence and economy—the impression that they may contact the government at any time. In addition, the proposed law seeks to offer effective government leaders to develop and promote electronic government services and processes.

It also encourages the use of intranets, the internet, and other information and communication technologies to improve citizen engagement with the government; and encourages policymakers to make better-informed, data-driven decisions while taking the findings of data analytics into account.

Further, the proposed law will increase the accountability and transparency of the national and local administrations and will promote the availability of high-quality public information and services through a variety of media.

With this, the nation wants to encourage inter-agency cooperation in the delivery of electronic government services to enhance the quality of service provided to citizens through an effective and efficient process.

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