MANILA – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is proposing to make the use of digital signatures mandatory in national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs), its director general Jeremiah Belgica said.
 
During the Ease of Doing Business Summit Thursday, Belgica urged NGAs and LGUs to subscribe to the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to generate e-signature.
 
He added the DICT can also accredit digital signatures of private institutions.
 
“The Commission on Audit is already drafting a circular to recognize the use of digital signatures in all government transactions as well as the crafting of the guidelines on the use of digital signatures,” Belgica said.
 
Aside from the mandatory use of digital signature, Belgica said ARTA is pushing for a unified online payment system for all fees, contributions, and taxes across NGAs and LGUs.
 
“We have already initial talks and discussions with the concerned agencies, and we are proposing that the Land Bank of the Philippines as one of the government banks to be the payment aggregator of all of these payments,” he added.
 
Along with the implementation of e-payment, the ARTA chief said they are currently ironing out the guidelines in the issuance of electronic copies of receipts by the NGAs and LGUs.
 
Belgica said the use of e-signature and e-payment in government transactions is part of the administration’s push to automate services and processes in public offices.
 
President Rodrigo Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address in 2020 that the government should “adjust and adapt to (a) paperless type of business and work performance” as this will empower people to avail government services at the comfort of their homes, particularly during this pandemic.
 
“It will enable our bureaucracy to better transition into the new normal and cut and minimize red tape,” Duterte then said. “Panahon na para mawala ang pila, para mapagsilbihan ng gobyerno nang walang kahirapan sa tao (It is time to eliminate queuing for government services and ease the burden of the public).” (PNA)