Solon seeks to institutionalize e-governance

By Leonel Abasola

December 27, 2022, 2:31 pm

<p>Senator Joel Villanueva <em>(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

Senator Joel Villanueva (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva wants e-governance to be fully implemented and institutionalize, noting that the Philippines lagged behind in terms of implementing digitalization program.

Under Senate Bill No. 1574 or an “Act Institutionalizing E-Governance in the Government” filed on Nov. 29, Villanueva also cited the latest 2022 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking placing the Philippines as the lowest ranking among Southeast Asian countries at 13th among the 14 Asia-Pacific economies, ahead only of Mongolia.

Villanueva cited a report by the World Bank in 2020, where the Philippines ranked 171st among 190 countries in terms of starting a business, 120th in terms of registering property and 95th in terms of paying taxes.

These statistics, Villanueva said, indicate that the Philippines has some catching up to do in terms of digitalization.

He said the Philippines must adopt and adapt to the industry's evolving needs by implementing programs geared towards transitioning to a digital economy and digital solutions.

“In fact, 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 slowly opens up and recovers from the pandemic, the Philippines must continue in its path to digitalization,” Villanueva said in his explanatory note.

The bill mandates all government agencies, offices and instrumentalities, including local government units to publish all relevant information not only via the traditional mode, and online means making the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as the lead agency to implement the provisions of the Act.

It also aimed to establish the Integrated Government Network which shall be the master plan and primary means for sharing and communication of resources, information and data on digital and electronic platforms across government offices, mandates the establishment and maintenance of a “GovMail” network to be used in all communications, information dissemination and sharing of information. (PNA)