Press Release
September 4, 2020

Bong Go supports proposed Internet Transactions Act; pushes for E-Governance bill to reduce red tape in government and support businesses further

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lent his support for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1591, otherwise known as the Internet Transactions Act, which seeks to encourage and unlock the e-commerce sector's potential for employment and economic growth by helping small businesses engaging in digital trade.

The proposed bill, authored by Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay, will create the E-Commerce Bureau which will oversee and promote the e-commerce sector as well as safeguard the rights of both Filipino consumers and business owners engaging in online transactions. The measure also seeks to provide tax exemption from local and national taxes for newly registered micro-businesses engaged in e-commerce.

"Protektahan po natin ang ating mga maliliit na negosyo at ating mga online sellers na ang gusto lamang ay mag-hanapbuhay para sa kanilang mga pamilya, lalong-lalo na po ngayong panahong ito," said Go during a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship last Thursday, September 3.

"It is my position that the Internet Transactions Act will complement the bill I filed, namely Senate Bill No. 1738, or the E-Governance Act of 2020, which mandates the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource-sharing and communications network, which spans the entirety of the national and local government," he added.

Last July 27, Go filed SBN 1738 which aims to make the delivery of public services more quick, efficient and cost-effective by reducing the red tape that plagues the national and local governments and, in turn, hinders the ability of small businesses to grow and create jobs.

In order to do this, it seeks to use information and communication technologies as a means to deliver government services and information to the public anytime, anywhere, and on any platform or device.

The proposed bill will establish the Integrated Government Network, a digital and electronic platform, that will act as the primary means for sharing and communicating data, information, and resources across all of the government. The IGN will serve as the government's primary and focal information management tool and communications network.

The measure will also create various digital portals for the delivery of public services, an internal records management information system, and an information database.

"As we prepare for the 'new normal', the transition to e-governance becomes crucial, particularly the digitalizing of government processes which will help e-commerce businesses in their registration and compliance with the government's permit and requirements," said the senator.

"E-governance will also reduce red tape, eliminate corruption, enhance transparency, provide safe and convenient delivery of services to the people and encourage citizen feedback and participation in governance.

"Ito po 'yung gusto nating mangyari---na mabawasan po 'yung red tape at pinapatulog pa 'yung mga dokumento. Mas mahihirapan po ang ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po panahon ng pandemya," he continued.

By digitalizing government processes, such as citizen services and business transactions, among others, individuals and businesses will cope better with the physical and mobility limitations that are put in place to slow the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. It will also ensure that business processes and transactions in the country remain seamless and fully operational despite the challenges presented by outbreaks and pandemics.

"As I've said before, we need to carefully balance our economic and health objectives. By ensuring that government services remain operational by maximizing available technologies, we can help Filipinos easily adapt to the new normal, help our economy recover and mitigate the health risks," said Go.

"This is the new age of evolution, Mr. Chair. Let us all unite to adapt to the new normal and heal as one. Hindi lang po 'yun, -- adapt to the new normal, sana po ay bumalik tayo sa dating normal kung saan po natin mayakap ang ating mga kapwa Pilipino."

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