FOR several years now, and especially during the pandemic years starting with 2020, many national government agencies have pushed the e-government’s goal of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the electronic media in transforming relations with citizens, businesses, government employees, in the delivery of services to the public.
Now, President Bongbong Marcos has decided to push e-governance one step further, as he assigned the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to enable local government units (LGUs) to adapt to the e-government system as part of the Marcos administration's digitalization initiative.
The Chief Executive held a sectoral meeting with DICT officials regarding its pending projects and cybersecurity concerns recently. DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy explained to the President that with the system, the local governments would save a lot of money and boost income generation.
The e-Gov system, announced by the DICT last year, includes the e-Gov Super App. This platform ensures the digitalization of government systems in the Philippines, including LGUs.
According to Secretary Uy, the ongoing e-Governance priority projects include: Centralizing government cloud services; e-Report, for citizens' feedback and complaints; and e-Gov App, which will integrate all government services into one platform.
The Department is also busy in the following ICT initiatives: Broadband ng Masa, National Broadband Plan (NBP), Free Public Internet Access Program, National Government Data Center (NGDC), and Enhancing ICT competency through up-skilling and re-skilling.
We note that e-governance programs would be most helpful to LGUs in the areas of managing and tracking proposed resolutions and ordinances, applications for building permit, real property assessment and tax management system, e-business permit and licensing system, etc.
This must be the reason why the President wanted the DICT to prepare the local officials so that they could start adapting to the new system, and for the department to conduct regular upgrades of the system, saying “this is the essence of digitalization.”
In 2022, the Philippines ranked 71st out of 131 economies in the global Network Readiness Index, a significant jump from the 85th ranking in 2021 due to good performance on e-commerce legislation, high-tech exports, and ICT services exports. Perhaps a better ranking for the country next year?
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