Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for his forward-thinking approach as the President recently tasked the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to enable local government units to adapt to the e-government system as part of the efforts to modernize government services and promote efficient governance.

“The directive issued by President Marcos reflects his commitment to improving public service delivery and advancing the nation’s digital landscape. By leveraging technology and implementing e-governance, we can enhance government efficiency, promote transparency, and empower citizens with easier access to services,“ Go highlighted.

In a sectoral meeting with DICT on Wednesday, May 24, President Marcos issued the directive to Secretary Ivan Uy and reminded them to ensure regular upgrades within the system, saying, “Let’s capacitate our LGUs so they can adapt to the system.”

“That’s really the essence of digitalization. Let’s be sure that we are able to upgrade this system. Set it up to get them (LGUs) ready, so they know how to operate it,” Marcos continued.

E-governance, also known as electronic governance, is the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the efficiency, transparency, and accessibility of government operations and services. The utilization of digital platforms and online systems streamlines administrative processes, simplifies public service delivery, and improves citizen engagement.

Meanwhile, as he has long advocated for the integration of digital solutions in government operations, Go recently stressed the urgent need to harness the potential of e-governance as he continues to push for Senate Bill No. 194.

During a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology on Monday, May 22, Go, as one of the authors of the measure, highlighted the potential benefits of e-governance, such as faster processing times for permits and licenses, simplified online transactions, improved data security, and enhanced accessibility.

“Bureaucratic inefficiency has been one of the most persisting problems in government service for the longest time. People spend so much money, time, and energy just to get a simple document, submit an application for a permit, or simply access public information. Napakahaba po ng proseso, maubos ang oras mo, hindi lang isang oras, isang linggo, o isang buwan,” Go stressed.

“Government should always be responsive to the demands of changing times. It is for this reason that I filed the proposed E-Governance Act. Una ko na po itong nai-file noong panahon pa ng pandemya during the 18th Congress. Marami tayong natutunan noon kung paano mag-adapt sa panahon,” he underscored.

Echoing President Marcos, the lawmaker expressed his confidence that the government’s responsiveness to the needs of the people through the adaptation of e-governance would result in a more inclusive and efficient administration, saying, “Nagpapasalamat rin po ako kay Pangulong Bongbong Marcos na ginawa itong priority measure at nabanggit sa kanyang State of the Nation Address.”

“This bill mandates the government to establish an integrated and interconnected information and resource-sharing and communications network spanning the entirety of the national and local governments,” he explained.

The proposed E-Governance Act aims to establish an integrated and interconnected information and resource-sharing and communications network that spans national and local governments. It shall mandate the creation of an internal records management information system, an information database, and digital portals for the delivery of public services.

The bill also advocates for the digitization of paper-based workflows to achieve greater efficiency and transparency in public service delivery. Go acknowledged the role of the DICT in spearheading these efforts.

“Importante ring matugunan kung paano ma-harmonize ang impormasyon na mayroon tayo para mabigyan ng mabilis at angkop na serbisyo ang mga tao. Tulad na lang noong panahon ng pandemya kung saan natagalan ang pagbibigay ng ayuda dahil sa mano-manong pagproseso ng database mula iba’t ibang ahensya. Dapat gamitin natin ang teknolohiya para maisaayos ang serbisyong ibinibigay natin at maibigay kaagad yung tulong sa mga mahihirap,” stressed Go.

“Doing so would bring the government closer to the people, bridge the gap in the delivery of various services, and provide avenues for our people to bring their grievances and concerns to the government. Ilapit po natin ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa mga tao. In the end, E-governance will result to better governance, and a government that is more responsive to the needs of our people,” he concluded.