Step up efforts to improve online transactions, Poe asks gov't

Published August 24, 2021, 11:31 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday, August 24, appealed to concerned government agencies to double their efforts making their services accessible online, especially as COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continue to rise.

Senator Grace Poe (Office of Sen. Poe)

“Online transactions and services should be faster and could help government save money in the long run. We have been in this situation since March, 2020 and there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” said Poe, who heads the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies.

“Except for situations that require people to be physically present such as in capturing their biometrics, many other services should be done online,” she pointed out.

The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday, August 23, 18,332 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily count since the COVID-19 hit the country last year.

Authorities said the impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed over Metro Manila and other areas of the country has yet to be seen in the numbers.

“This is the pressing time to embark on the new normal, especially for government services. In the long run, the government can even realize savings from overhead expenses such as rent and utilities,” Poe said.

“This is also a good opportunity for the government to streamline its processes and cut red tape,” she added.

The senator also mentioned the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), among others agencies, that should work on digitalization to avoid the long lines of people in their offices for clearances and licenses.

She, noted, on the other hand, that the agencies should likewise invest on their systems “so that they do not fall prey to hackers and compromise the personal information of their clients.”