Go supports digitalization of financial transactions amid pandemic; pushes passage of E-governance bill

Go supports digitalization of financial transactions amid pandemic; pushes passage of E-governance bill

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence”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. (ai/mtvn)

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