Duterte pushes shift to e-governance to cut red tape

Published July 27, 2020, 10:19 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The national government is determined to shift to a paper-free work environment and provide digital frontline services to the people, President Duterte announced Monday.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said he wanted state agencies to eliminate “physical queuing” of people doing transactions with government.

“The national government shall lead the way in our transition to online systems. I reiterate my call for all government instrumentalities to implement systems that shall make physical queuing a thing of the past,” he said.

“Panahon na para mawala na ang pila para mapagsilbihan ng gobyerno nang walang kahirapan para sa tao (It is time to remove queuing so the government can serve the people without  difficulty),” he added.

Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Budget and Management, the Anti-Red Tape Authority, and other government offices to make possible services available online.

He said the government must adopt “a paperless-type business and work performance.” “We need e-governance [to provide] our people with the services they need [from] the comfort of their homes or workplaces. It will enable our bureaucracy to better transition into the ‘new normal’ and cut or minimize red tape,” he added.

Duterte also assured the business community and the general public about the gains from the implementation of Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery, particularly towards removing excessive regulations in government processes.

The law, signed by Duterte in 2018, allows the adoption of simplified requirements and procedures that will reduce red tape and hasten business and non-business transitions in government.

“We are closer to eliminating overregulation in government services,” he said.

He said frontline services in securing government permits and obtaining services for overseas Filipino workers, among others, have been streamlined. He noted that passports and drivers’ license validity have also lengthened to ease the burden of the public.