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Freitag, 10.07.2020
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Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go called on the government to hasten its digital transformation of government agencies in order that Filipinos may find it easier to access their basic services online.

Go said the coronavirus 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.

“With the use of technology, government service is expected to be fast, smooth, reliable and comprehensive. During this critical time, let us help and ease the burden of our countrymen),” he said in Filipino.

Go said the Department of Information and Communications Technology must spearhead the digitalization of government functions and procedures to 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 the Philippine government had always been committed to improving the mode of service delivery to all Filipinos. He said the coronavirus pandemic was able to highlight gaps in the system that should be improved to make the country more prepared to face other kinds of crises that may come.

“We have seen the importance of digital transformation in government. In the private sector, businesses were forced to adopt e-commerce techniques in order to improve their services, much more in government. There’s no better time than now to prioritize the government’s digital transformation,” said Go.

Go said a digital government would improve access of citizens regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic condition.

Go cited how the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) 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 (DSWD) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission.”

The senator highlighted that utilizing digital health technology would not only address the nation’s most urgent needs during the pandemic but would also reshape the health system, resulting in 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.

Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also stressed that an integrated health care database would strengthen and improve the service delivery of existing government initiatives, such as the Kawasaki 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 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 the 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.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Javier J. Ismael

Quelle/Source: The Manila Times, 21.06.2020

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