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Advancing E-Governance

From the onset, the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is very much aware of the importance of digitalization. As he envisions a truly digital nation, the President wants to ensure universal connectivity. Among his directives is to expand connectivity in the underserved and unserved areas in the country. Moreover, digitalizing government services to improve productivity and efficiency in terms of delivering public services is also his administration’s priority.

The President wants to develop an e-government system that eliminates the need for redundant filing of forms and reduces the need for human interactions in transactions.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John E. Uy has been emphasizing the importance of improving Philippine e-governance by making public transactions more efficient through digitalization, streamlining and reducing red tape, minimizing the need to fall in line in various government offices, and reducing the need to skip work in order to get certification or clearances.

In line with this, the DICT is pushing for the immediate approval of the proposed E-Governance bills that were filed before the two Houses of Congress. The E-Governance bill shall be crucial in transforming governance to one that is digital, anti-red tape, and bureaucratic efficient.

The proposed measure promotes the use of the internet, ICT and emerging technologies within and across government agencies to provide citizen-centric government information and services, and improve public trust and citizen participation in the government.

It also aims to improve the ability of the government to achieve agency missions and program performance goals, reduce costs and burdens for businesses and other government entities, and promote the use of ICT in improving access to high quality government information and services across multiple channels. As we await the enactment of the E-Governance bill, the DICT is already implementing programs to advance e-governance.

The Department was able to pilot launch the Integrated Local Government System (iLGU) in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement an end-to-end business registration with local government units (LGUs) for Business Permits, Clearances, Real Property Tax, Business Tax, Civil Registry, and other permits. The pilot testing was successful and is currently being implemented in 25 cities and municipalities. This will remove long lines in the city and municipal halls and streamline citizens’ transactions with LGUs.

Moreover, the DICT also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with partner government agencies—the DILG, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Landbank of the Philippines, GSIS, SSS, and the Mindanao Development Authority—to push for an integrated government approach in terms of E-Governance.

Among the DICT’s flagship programs involved in the initiative are the systems development, implementation, and integration of E-Local Government Units (ELGU), E-Government Application (EGovApp), EGovpay, E-Travel, E-Cloud, among others.

Secretary Uy is a firm supporter of e-governance. He wants a streamlined and efficient government that will remove repetitive processes and get rid of long lines in public offices so citizens will be able to engage with the government from the convenience of their homes, from their offices, or even while in transit. What he wants is to provide a 24/7 government that will foster better engagement with its citizens.

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