During the past two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have gone through major changes, including the public sector. From vaccination efforts, telehealth, remote work, online education, deployment of virtual assistants to automation of manual and repetitive tasks, the national government and local government units have to learn, discover, and adopt new ways to innovate the delivery of public services to meet current demands.
Understanding this reality and being at the forefront of digital transformation and innovation, Globe Business aspires to be part of the digitization journey of various organizations, including the ones that belong to the public sector, to help them lead better in today’s digital and connected world.
At the fifth virtual session led by Globe Business titled R.I.S.E.: Regional Insights and Strategies for E-Government, leaders from the national government and LGUs gathered to share and learn more about digital transformation strategies.
Starting off with Rafaelita Aldaba, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation, the official discussed the agency’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S). In her presentation, Aldaba outlined major activities and elements connected to i3S, which include upskilling and reskilling of the Filipino workforce, preparation of micro, small and medium enterprises for Industry 4.0, and full adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, internet-of-things and smart manufacturing.
Followed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, the lawmaker gave a deeper understanding of the two digital transformation bills he introduced in 2020: Senate Bill No. 1793 or the Full Digital Transformation Act of 2020 and Senate Bill No. 876 or the Kabisera 2030. The first bill seeks to mandate the full digital transformation of all government agencies, officers, and corporations in the Philippines, including LGUs. The second bill, meanwhile, proposes a permanent seat of government in New Clark City by 2030, creating opportunities and spurring development in the countryside while reducing migration and congestion in Metro Manila.
New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell also detailed the partnerships between New Zealand and the Philippine government focusing on the modernization of processes and services for the public. Supporting Kell’s presentation, New Zealand’s Creative HQ CEO Catherine Jones elaborated how their problem-solving programs are helping agencies reimagine services and provide support to create transformational work in the government.
At the LGU level, Quirino Province Gov. Dakila Cua and Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian also shared insights on how their government systems innovate to improve services.
Globe Telecom and the Philippine government
Governments that go digital play a central role in addressing the crisis and serve as an essential medium of communication between policy-makers and society during the pandemic. Gaps between the government and the people they serve are continuously addressed by helping LGUs transform into connected governments to build a connected nation. With that being said, Peter Maquera, Enterprise Group Senior Vice President at Globe Business, elaborated how Globe Telecom, the Philippine national government, and LGUs are working together to achieve the vision of a connected nation.
“Our global health situation has shown how critical ICT can be when appropriately leveraged in governance especially in difficult times. Globe, for example, was able to reach more people with our services and partnerships with the local governments. We were able to ramp up our builds in 2020 to 1,300 towers. In 2021, we are on our way to fulfilling 2,000 new towers. Thanks to our government for fast-tracking permitting tower builds. We increased our 600 new tower builds two to three years ago to 2x in 2020 and more than 3x in 2021,” said Maquera.
In partnership with Manila and Quezon City LGUs, Globe also supported the shift to online learning by providing 500,000 SIM cards and pocket Wi-Fis to teachers. The telco giant has also partnered with LGUs to make the mobile promos more affordable and accessible even to the underserved so that they can still learn remotely. GoWiFi hubs have also been available in common areas to communities in over 3,000 key areas.
With the help of Globe, cities and municipalities are also among the first to go cashless through GCash. Makati City, for example, provided its 500,000 residents with government-unified citizen IDs for cashless transactions, offering the convenience of buying load, paying bills, playing games and making app store and online purchases in the comfort of their homes. In Cordova, Cebu, over 20,000 constituents received prepaid SIM-plus-GCash card bundles to serve as IDs for funds disbursement.
The initiatives, however, are just only the beginning as there are more people to reach and more communities to serve, said Maquera. According to the 2021 United Nations E-Government Survey report, although countries worldwide are eager to move forward, many governments continue to face challenges due to multiple contextual factors, resource limitations, lack of digital infrastructure, and inefficient capacities and capabilities. Governments must also be prepared for the unintended consequences of technology use and take active steps to protect sensitive data for people’s privacy and security.
To learn more about Globe Business, visit www.globe.com.ph/business/enterprise.