Press Release
August 11, 2020

Bong Go urges government, telcos to provide reliable internet connectivity to aid transition to E-Governance, flexible learning and online business transactions

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go is calling on government and the private sector, particularly telecommunications companies, to work together to provide reliable internet connectivity so that Filipinos can easily transition to online modes of transactions.

The Senator reiterated the importance of fast and reliable internet in order to avoid face-to-face transactions while there is an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He enumerated examples such as the transition of government to E-governance, students adapting to flexible or blended learning, and the public conducting online business transactions.

"Ito na po ang 'new normal'. Necessity na po ang fast and reliable internet. Huwag dapat magpahuli ang Pilipinas dahil importante ito para sa development ng mga Pilipino," he said.

"Kahit ako nga nahihirapan sa internet connection. 'Yung mga Senate sessions, hearings at meetings ngayon ay virtual na bilang pagsunod sa social distancing measures. Apektado ang trabaho kapag mabagal at hindi reliable ang ating internet connection," he explained.

Go lauded the Anti-Red Tape Authority's latest directive which will seek to accelerate the rollout of telecommunication infrastructure and service projects in the Philippines.

The Joint Memorandum Circular, currently being drafted by a joint task force composed of ARTA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Department of Information and Communications Technology, aims to fast-track the construction of telecom towers.

By providing wider and more reliable access to the Internet, Go believes educational institutions will have more flexibility to implement a blended learning approach which integrates both online and offline modes of learning for students in any part of the country.

"Siguraduhin natin na lahat ng mga estudyante ay mabibigyan ng pantay na oportunidad sa ilalim ng ating learning continuity plan in all levels of education," he stressed.

The Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education maintain there will be no regular face-to-face classes when the school year resumes on August 24. Instead, all educational institutions shall resume remotely through online platforms, learning management systems and take-home packets, among others.

"Kahit ayaw nating maantala ang klase nila, importanteng safe sila. 'Yan ang unang consideration natin, ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak. For me, no vaccine, no physical classes or face-to-face learning," said Go, who also serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.

Go also acknowledged the ongoing crisis has laid bare the need to digitize other transactions that used to be handled in person. The Senator, who has been pushing for the transition to e-government platforms, expressed his support for the President's call to improve the accessibility, efficiency and transparency of all government services through E-governance.

"I reiterate my call for all government instrumentalities to implement systems that shall make physical queuing a thing of the past," said the President during his fifth State of the Nation Address delivered last July 27.

"We need e-governance [to provide] our people with the services they need [from] the comfort of their homes or workplaces. It will enable our bureaucracy to better transition into in the 'new normal' and cut or minimize red tape," he also said.

Go filed Senate Bill No. 1738 or the E-Governance Act of 2020 which mandates the establishment of an integrated, interconnected and interoperable internal government network. This network will allow all branches, agencies, instrumentalities and offices of the national and local governments, including government-owned and controlled corporations, to share and communicate resources, information and data.

"In an age where almost everything can be done online and through other digital platforms, the government must harness the power of information and communications technology to better serve its purpose and bring the government closer to the people," said Go.

The proposed measure will likewise create online public service portals, an internal records management system, an email and communications network for internal and intra-government communications, and a national directory of information on Philippine citizens, among others.

"We need to evolve-- businesses are already transitioning to e-commerce and online transactions. Our education system is also championing blended learning. It is important for the government as a whole to expedite its transition as well," Go further explained.

News Latest News Feed