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Philippine Local Government Units urged to adopt digital tools to improve services, revenue generation

Local Government Units (LGUs) have been called up to embrace the switch to digital technologies to vastly improve their delivery of frontline services and generate more revenues under the New Economy in the post-pandemic era.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged local executives start working with the national government in preparing for the seamless transfer of the additional devolved functions, services and facilities that they would have to assume (beginning 2022) with the implementation of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the far higher revenue allotment (IRA) share of LGUs.

Under the high court’s Mandanas doctrine, the IRA share of LGUs should come from all national taxes, as mandated under the 1991 Local Government Code, and not from just the taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) within the respective jurisdictions of LGUs.

This expanded revenue coverage means the IRA share of LGUs should also include other taxes such as those collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC). This sizable IRA increase for LGUs will let them pump-prime their respective local economies in the New Economy.

Technologies adopted should include processing of business registrations and the collection of local taxes. Investments in information technology will not only make for more responsive governance but it will also improve revenue generation of LGUs.

The national economy, after all, is the sum of all local economies. LGUs are at the frontline of serving vulnerable communities; they are also catalysts for building a new economy while the nation does it can to address the global health emergency.

“As we anticipate a new economy in the post-pandemic era, we strongly encourage our LGUs to adopt digital technologies to efficiently deliver frontline services,” said Dominguez in a webinar hosted by the Union of Local Government Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

ULAP organised the online dialogue with the Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to tackle the recovery of local economies from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), Dominguez said LGUs can continue to count on several streams of support to restart their respective local economies and rescue businesses.

Dominguez said the national government is working closely with the Congress to swiftly pass several legislative imperatives vital to the country’s recovery from the pandemic. Both the BLGF and the Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) are also preparing online learning modules for local government treasurers and assessors.

Dominguez further said the government’s economic recovery strategy remains anchored on sustaining the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, which covers infrastructure projects outside Metro Manila to immediately create jobs, encourage investments and increase economic activity outside the national capital region.

OpenGov Asia recently reported on the Philippine Department of Finance taking the lead in shielding GFIs and other agencies from cyber threats. A collaborative solution will be designed to shield respective systems from potential cybersecurity threats along with other possible risks and data breaches in the digital landscape.

National cyber resilience is of key importance as the world has become intensely dependent on e-markets, online trade, banking, remote working and the new normal which is becoming increasingly virtual.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

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SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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