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Donnerstag, 25.02.2021
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Saying local governments’ limited access to computers hinders timely delivery of basic public services, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara has asked local government units (LGUs) to frontload the adoption of digital transformation to promptly address the problem.

“To bolster the country’s efforts in developing and implementing e-government services,” Angara asserted that LGUs should “take the lead in digital transformation for the public sector.”

The Senator observed, for instance, that shifting to digital or online services accelerated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, asserting that the government “cannot afford to be left behind.”

One need only look into “how more Filipinos now regularly use their mobile phones and computers to shop, do their groceries, and even transact with their banks. Our government processes and services should follow suit.”

However, he lamented that only 30 percent of LGUs have taken steps to digitize their processes, noting that limited access to computers, among other findings, hindered timely delivery of local government services.

He recalled how “thousands of people had to go out of their homes and line up at designated areas in their respective LGUs to apply and receive their cash assistance,” recalling that “this was not only a labor-intensive and tedious process, but also created significant health risks on both the recipients and the government workers.”

While many LGUs opted to maintain the status quo and continue with face-to-face transactions with their constituents, he warned that the absence of digital services “poses some real problems such as what was experienced in the distribution of cash aid during the enhanced community quarantine period.”

He recalled how “thousands of people had to go out of their homes and line up at designated areas in their respective LGUs to apply and receive their cash assistance,” recalling that “this was not only a labor-intensive and tedious process, but also created significant health risks on both the recipients and the government workers.”

To facilitate the transition of LGUs to digital services, Angara earlier filed Senate Bill 1943 or the Local Information and Communications Technology Officer (ICTO) Act, creating a new position of ICTO in all provinces, cities and municipalities across the country.

This, he added, entails an amendment to Sections 443 (a), 454 (a), and 463 (a) of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which deal with the officials of the municipal, city and provincial governments.

Under the Angara bill, ICTOs will manage the following: formulating and executing digitization plans for processes and public documents in their respective LGUs; develop, maintain, and supervise all other information and communications technology programs and services of the LGU (including partnerships with the private sector); and collate and disseminate information regarding ICT and the services of the local government to the public.

The ICTOs must be Filipino citizens of good moral character, and have degrees from recognized colleges and universities in information and communications technology, computer science, computer engineering, data science, electronics and communication engineering, or any other course that will be directly relevant to the job.

Besides Senate Bill 1943, Angara also filed Senate Billl 1470 or the National Digital Transformation Act and SB 1764 or the Use of Digital Payments Act.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Butch Fernandez

Quelle/Source: Business Mirror, 25.01.2021

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