Press Release
September 10, 2021

Bong Go supports digitalization of financial transactions amid pandemic as he continues to push for passage of his E-governance bill

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go emphasized the necessity of financial transaction digitalization in the face of the pandemic, asserting that it will not only aid the country's economic recovery but also keep people safe.

"Nandyan na ang internet bagamat kailangan rin itong maimprove pa. Meron na tayong teknolohiya na available sa atin. Gamitin natin para makatulong sa pagbangon ng bansa mula dito sa krisis na ito at sa patuloy na pag-unlad," said Go.

"Sa katunayan niyan, isa tayo sa pinakaunang bansa na nag-introduce ng konsepto ng 'mobile money services.' Gamit itong services na ito, nagagawa na natin ang mga money transactions, katulad ng fund transfers at remittances, pagbabayad ng bills, at pagbili ng mga produkto," he further explained.

Governor Benjamin Diokno of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas indicated in a Senate briefing on September 9 that the country's objective is to have at least 50% of all financial transactions in digital form by 2023.

Filipinos are always exploring various types of financial access and payment services, according to the BSP, especially with the rise of the internet and the simplicity and security it provides.

"Filipinos have been at the forefront of adopting technology to improve their lives. Mas ligtas, mas convenient, at mas maayos," said Go.

However, Go stated that the government must play a role in the digital era transition. This is why he introduced Senate Bill No. 1738, also known as the E-Governance Act.

Under such a measure, the government will collaborate with citizens, the private sector, and other stakeholders to better serve its mission and bring the government closer to the people by using the power and potential of information and communications technology.

SBN 1738 will provide for the establishment of 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.

The measure likewise pushes for the digitization of paper-based and other traditional modes of workflows for a more efficient and transparent public service.

The heads of government agencies are also 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 bill also provides for the establishment of the Integrated Government Network which will act as the primary means for the sharing and communication of resources, information, and data through and on digital and electronic platforms across all of the government. The IGN will also act as the government's primary and focal information management tool and communications network.

The measure then creates a corporate body to be known as Philippine Infostructure Management Corporation for the purpose of ensuring the proper and efficient operations and management of the country's ICT assets, as well as a training institution in recognition of the critical role of educating both the public and the government in ICT.

Go highlights that this proposed measure will accelerate the digital transformation by removing the delays and other issues that come with traditional governance in communications, resource sharing, and information sharing.

More importantly, Go stressed that, through e-governance, the public will feel that the government is actually and truly at their fingertips.

"Nagbabago na po ang panahon. Meron na tayong makabagong pamamaraan ng pamumuhay. Meron na tayong makabagong teknolohiya. Hindi dapat nagpapahuli ang ating gobyerno. In fact, the government should spearhead the country's transition to the digital age," he said.

"Bukod pa rito, mababawasan rin ang red tape at corruption kung mapapabilis ang mga proseso at transaksyon sa gobyerno. Mailalapit natin lalo ang serbisyo diretso sa taumbayan," he added.

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