Press Release
July 30, 2021

Improving public service delivery and adapting to the new normal — PRRD cites Bong Go's proposed E-governance Act in his SONA as crucial legislation towards pandemic recovery

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go once again pushed for the passage of his filed bill known as the E-governance Act, as President Rodrigo Duterte listed it as one of the priority legislations in the last year of his administration.

The measure is in line with the President's vision of improving public service delivery through a more responsive and efficient government, especially as the whole country adapts to the 'new normal' amid efforts to overcome the pandemic.

"Hindi na dapat nating pahirapan ang mga Pilipino sa pag-access sa serbisyo ng gobyerno. The government needs to adopt more efficient, responsive and modern ways of transacting with our citizens," said Go.

"Dahil sa COVID-19, kinailangan na mag-evolve ng mga transaksyon na normally ay face-to-face. This will effectively make the government more in tune with the changing times," he explained further.

During his State of the National Address on Monday, July 26, Duterte urged members of Congress to pass a legislation allowing for the utilization of modern technology to enhance access to government services and programs for all Filipinos.

Due to the pandemic, the president said that "deficiencies and weaknesses" in government processes have been exposed. This has caused hiccups in the delivery of government services to the people.

"As such, I ask Congress to pass an e-governance act that will set a transition of government processes to the digital age," Duterte said in his SONA.

In July 27 last year, Go filed Senate Bill No. 1738, or the E-Governance Act of 2020, which seeks to mandate the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource-sharing and communications network spanning the entirety of the national and local government, an internal records management information system, an information database, and digital portals for the delivery of public services.

"Gamitin natin ang teknolohiya upang mailapit lalo ang gobyerno sa tao, mapagaan ang pinapasan ng taumbayan, at mabigyan sila ng serbisyong kailangan nila sa panahong hirap na hirap na ang lahat dahil sa krisis," Go emphasized.

For a more efficient and transparent public service, the bill also encourages the digitization of paper-based and other old workflows.

Echoing Duterte's sentiments, the Senator mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic "highlighted gaps, both foreseen and unforeseen, in the delivery of government services in the country."

"This bill takes into consideration what we have learned from what has been and is being done, drawing from the experiences of technologically-advanced countries and the best practices of those who have started the push for e-governance, to initiate the country's first big step to an institutional and whole-of-government approach to digitizing governance for a better government and a safer future," Go previously mentioned.

Under Go's proposed measure, the heads of government agencies are mandated to comply with the requirements of the bill, including related standards for all ICT infrastructure, systems, equipment, designs, and other technologies promulgated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The DICT will also be responsible for harmonizing and coordinating all national ICT plans and efforts in order to ensure knowledge, information, and resource sharing, database development, and agency networking links, all in line with e-government goals.

The measure also establishes the Integrated Government Network, which will serve as the principal means for sharing and communicating resources, information, and data across all levels of government via digital and electronic platforms. The IGN will also serve as the government's primary data management tool and communications network.

It then establishes the Philippine Infostructure Management Corporation to ensure the appropriate and efficient operation and management of the country's ICT assets, as well as a training institution to recognize the vital role of ICT education for both the public and the government.

Individuals and businesses will be better able to cope with the physical and mobility restrictions put in place to curb the spread of diseases like COVID-19 if government procedures, such as citizen services and business transactions, are digitalized.

"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," Go continued.

"Ito 'yung gusto nating mangyari---ang mabawasan 'yung red tape at mapabilis ang proseso dahil nahihirapan na ang ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po panahon ng pandemya," said Go.

Aside from the e-governance bill, Duterte also mentioned Go's other filed bills including SBN 2158, which seeks to establish a Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Philippine CDC; and SBN 2155, or the "Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines Act of 2021".

He also cited SBN 1832, which provides for a Fire Protection Modernization Program in the country; SBN 1228 also known as the "Mandatory Evacuation Center Act of 2019"; SBN 205 creating the Department of Disaster Resilience; SBN 2234, a bill that will establish the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos; and SBN 393, which seeks to provide free legal assistance to Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, among others.

News Latest News Feed