Gov’t seeks P38.75B for digitalization efforts in 2024

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

September 20, 2023, 11:33 am

<p>DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman <em>(File photo)</em></p>

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File photo)

MANILA – The Marcos administration is eyeing an allocation of PHP38.75 billion for its digitalization efforts in 2024, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Wednesday.

The proposed budget for the digitalization of government processes marks a 60.6 percent increase from the PHP24.93 billion funding in 2023, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said, as she stressed the need to boost public service.

“Technological advancement has given rise to a growing digital economy which continues to create new forms of work, transforming the employment landscape. Hence, investing in the digitalization of the bureaucracy is crucial not only in enhancing its efficiency but also in generating quality jobs for Filipinos,” Pangandaman said.

She added that the said bulk of the proposed budget would be divided among 10 government agencies.

These include the Department of Education (PHP9.43 billion); Department of Justice (PHP5.55 billion); Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) (PHP5.34 billion); Department of Finance (PHP3.15 billion); Department of the Interior and Local Government (PHP2.60 billion); National Economic and Development Authority (PHP2.08 billion); the Judiciary (PHP1.44 billion); Department of National Defense (PHP1.12 billion); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (PHP913 million) and Other Executive Offices (PHP890 million).

The DBM chief said a total of PHP990.631 million would be allocated to the information and communications technology (ICT) Systems and Infostructure Development, Management, and Advisory Program of the DICT.

It said the National Government Data Center Infrastructure (NGDCI) Program, which would get PHP1.67 billion, aims to reduce government spending by providing resources to government agencies either through colocation or cloud services.

She noted that the DICT’s National Government Portal (NGP) would also receive an allocation of PHP302.86 million to further streamline public service by connecting all government departments to a single website.

Another DICT program, the National Broadband Plan (NBP), will get a budget of PHP1.50 billion to improve internet speed and allow affordability across the country, the DBM said.

A separate PHP2.5 billion will fund the Free WiFi Connectivity in Public Places and State Universities and Colleges Program, with a target of 50 broadband sites in 82 provinces.

Pangandaman said keeping updated on technology and maximizing its uses were in line with the Marcos administration’s whole-of-government approach to digitally connect the entire bureaucracy.

The initiative, Pangandaman said, would not only cut red tape but would likewise generate employment in the expanding digital economy. (PNA)