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Sonntag, 12.07.2020
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go is calling for the swifter digital transformation of government agencies so Filipinos may find it easier to access various basic government services online. The senator said that the COVID-19 crisis continues to highlight the need to invest in technology and promote E-governance practices to improve efficiency in the delivery of public goods and services.

“Gamit ang teknolohiya, dapat maging mas mabilis, maayos, maaasahan at komprehensibo ang serbisyong ibinibigay ng gobyerno sa tao. Lalo na sa panahon ngayon, magmalasakit tayo at pagaanin ang hirap na pinapasan ng ating mga kababayan,” he explained.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology must spearhead the digitalization of government functions and procedures. This will dramatically improve access to public services, specifically in terms of availability, convenience, cost and speed. A survey of the country’s top officials and senior tech executives revealed that nearly half of the nation’s agencies are behind schedule in doing so.

Go said that the Philippine government has always been committed to improving the mode of service delivery to all Filipinos. According to him, this pandemic was able to highlight gaps in the system that should be improved in order to make the country more prepared to face other kinds of crises that may come.

“Nakita natin ang importansya ng digital transformation in government. Sa private sector, napilitan ang mga negosyo na mag-adopt ng e-commerce techniques para mapabuti ang mga serbisyo nila. Lalo na sa gobyerno, there’s no better time than now to prioritize the government's digital transformation,” said Go.

Go said that a digital government will improve access of citizens to the government regardless of their geographical location or socio-economic condition.

An example of this is how the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation had successfully connected its seventeen regional offices and collated their data. This provided the agency insights to improve its internal management and fine-tune its programs. It also allowed the agency to swap information and coordinate programs faster with other relevant bodies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

The senator noted that utilizing digital health technology will not only address the nation’s most urgent needs during the pandemic but also reshape the health system, resulting to more efficient and responsive services.

He called on concerned government agencies to design health service applications which citizens can access anywhere, anytime, on any device to keep them informed on how to protect themselves and be able to contribute to the country’s fight against the pandemic and future public health challenges.

“Isang benepisyo ng E-governance ay ang pag-promote ng people participation. Gamit ang teknolohiya, mas magiging inclusive ang gobyerno at mabibigyan ang mga Pilipino ng pagkakataon na tumulong at magbayanihan,” Go said.

Go, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also stressed that an integrated healthcare database will strengthen and improve the service delivery of existing government initiatives, such as the Malasakit Center.

Malasakit Centers bring together various agencies, namely the Department of Health, DSWD, PhilHealth and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, under one roof. The initiative was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, principally authored by Go.

Its primary aim is to provide better access to financial medical assistance from government to help bring down to the lowest amount the hospital bills, especially the out-of-pocket expenditures, of poor and indigent Filipinos. There are 71 Malasakit Centers to date in the country. Through an online platform, the Senator said, Filipinos can access the services of the center with a push of a button and overcome the barriers created by social distancing practices and containment efforts.

“Isang halimbawa lang itong Malasakit Center. Kung maisaayos ang E-governance sa lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno, mas mapapadali ang proseso ng pagkuha at pagbigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan,” Go explained.

“Kung maayos ang E-governance implementation, hindi na rin kailangan magpunta pa sa mga opisina ang mga taong humihingi ng tulong. Pwede na pong maihatid sa kanilang mga bahay ang ayuda sa paraang hindi mailalagay sa alanganin ang mga tao dahil sa sakit,” he added.

“Nagagawa na po ito ng ibang LGUs, dapat lang na pagtuunan ito ng pansin para maisaayos ang serbisyong pampubliko ng gobyerno kahit saan mang parte ng bansa,” Go said further.

Recalling his experiences as a long-time aide to President Rodrigo Duterte, Go explained how Davao City eventually became one of the most competitive cities in the country when it introduced various initiatives to fast track the delivery of services through E-governance.

As mayor then, Duterte had observed how time-consuming bureaucratic procedures rendered government agencies inefficient. Davao City was one of the LGUs that applied information technology and other e-governance reforms. This includes allowing businesses to download forms for business registration application or renewal.

In 2020, as President, he issued Administrative Order 23 directing all government agencies and offices to eliminate excessive regulations which discouraged private sector investment and inhibited job creation while placing additional costs for businesses.

“Habang nilalabanan natin ang COVID-19 pandemic, sikapin rin nating maisaayos ang mga kakulangan sa sistema. Our goal is to make the government more prepared and more responsive to the needs of the people,” Go said.

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Quelle/Source: Journal Online, 20.06.2020

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