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Speeding Up E-Government Implementation in the Philippines

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva notes that the country needs to catch up in implementing digitalisation programmes. He advocates for the full implementation and institutionalisation of e-governance in the Philippines.

In Senate Bill No. 1574, or an “Act Institutionalising E-Governance in the Government”, filed on Nov. 29, Villanueva cited the latest 2022 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. Based on the report, the Philippines ranked lowest among Southeast Asian countries. Furthermore, the country ranks 13th out of 14 Asia-Pacific economies, trailing only Mongolia.

According to the statistics, the Philippines has some catching up to do in terms of digitalisation. Additionally, based on World Bank 2020 report, the Philippines ranked 171st out of 190 countries in starting a business, 120th in registering property, and 95th in paying taxes. Thus, he urges the Philippines to adapt to the industry’s evolving needs by implementing programmes aimed at transitioning to a digital economy and solutions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this reality in the past two years after the government and most businesses have shut down their physical operations following the imposition of community quarantines. As the world gradually opens and recovers from the pandemic, the Philippines must continue to go forward on its digitalisation path,” Villanueva explained.

The bill requires all government agencies, offices, and instrumentalities, including local government units, to publish all relevant information through traditional and online means. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will serve as the lead agency to carry out the Act’s provisions.

It aimed to establish the Integrated Government Network, which would serve as the master plan and primary means for sharing and communicating resources, information, and data across government offices via digital and electronic platforms. The regulation also mandated establishing and maintaining a “GovMail” network to be used in all communications, information dissemination and sharing.

The House of Representatives intends to use a digital platform to make government transactions and service delivery more efficient, effective, and transparent. Recently in November, the Philippine Congress expedited the plenary adoption of laws to digitise the government’s vast records under the planned E-Governance Act and E-Government Act.

As a result, the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology has already established a technical working group (TWG) to combine the planned E-Governance Act and E-Government Act.

Furthermore, the Philippines established a collaborative project to empower digitalisation for youth by providing access to government internship opportunities. The programme will provide a challenging environment for The Philippines’ young generation to develop their science scholars’ skills further and encourage them to join the government workforce. The project is planned for long-term implementation and will address more challenging aspects of the transition, such as culture and system education, in addition to automating various DOST data and operations.

The scholarship will include programming, testing, copywriting, design, and implementation. It also works on teacher training programmes, educational innovations, and the promotion of youth science. Project LODI is an addition to the Institute’s programmes that encourage professional excellence and social responsibility in scholars.

The DOST-SEI is the driving force behind the nation’s most prestigious science scholarship programmes. It will collaborate with state universities and colleges (SUCs) that deliver DOST learning programmes to develop a list of scholars qualified for the internship. As a foundation for the project, the DOST-PES Information Technology Division has set the DOST’s Programming Conventions and Standards, an IT Library of components and assets, and the Standard Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

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