Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Photo courtesy of Patrick Adalin.

Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte pushed for the formerly proposed e-government bill that can accompany the “New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020.”

The e-government bill or House Bill (HB) No.1248 mandates the establishment of an e-government system which “will further improve the ease of doing business—and thus sharpen the country’s global competitiveness as an investment haven—while encouraging people to keep practicing physical distancing in the post-pandemic scenario by letting them transact official business without actually having to go to the various government agencies themselves.”

Villafuerte filed HB No.1248 last year of July but discovered its relevance to the pandemic situation as the country moves toward the new normal. The bill aims to develop, promote, and inter-link electronic government services and processes in all state agencies and corporations in the Philippines.

“[It will] ensure that the Philippines gets ahead of the curve in the new normal way of life under a post-coronavirus pandemic era,” said Villafuerte.

The proposal mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop and then implement an e-government master plan.

The e-government master plan has six main components:

  1. a framework to guide and govern essential sharing and informational interoperability of the ICT systems of all government agencies and corporations
  2. archives and records management information system for all government documents and records
  3. an internet-based government transaction system and gateway that will enable citizens and businesses to remit payments electronically to government agencies
  4. a citizen frontline delivery service that facilitates business registration-related transactions
  5. a public financial management system to harmonize financial systems in government
  6. a procurement system that provides online and real-time services encompassing all procurement processes involving bidding, contract agreements, and payment for services or supplies

Villafuerte asserted these six components would improve access to and delivery of government services to provide efficient, responsive, ethical, accountable, and transparent government service.

The proposal also covers the inventory and purchase of hardware and software of all government offices. It also includes the use of servers, network connections, and data centers in all government offices.

The absence of face-to-face contact between applicants and the government staff allows the e-government arrangement to minimize corruption. It also fits with the fast-tracking and full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) project, as it becomes ideal for people to use their would-be PhilSys identification cards in transacting with government offices.

Currently, Villafuerte submitted the e-government bill to the House Information and Communications Technology Committee for review.


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