Go seeks quick passage of e-Governance Act; welcomes EO adopting digital payments for gov’t transactions

Published May 18, 2022, 10:51 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday urged Congress to pursue the immediate passage of the proposed e-Governance Act which seeks to promote the use of digital payments for government disbursements and collections.

Go made the call after President Duterte issued Executive Order 170 last Thursday, May 12 directing all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the goernment to adopt digital payments for their systems.

The EO also covers state universities and colleges (SUCs), government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs).

Go has been reiterating the need for the digitalzation of the financial management operations in the government to improve transparency and efficiency in the use of public funds. The senator filed Senate Bill No. 1738, or the e-Governance Act in 2020.

“In an age where almost everything can be done online and through other digital platforms, the government must harness the power of information and communications technology to better serve its purpose and bring the government closer to the people,” Go said regarding the bill.

“We need e-governance to provide our people with the services they need from the comfort of their homes or workplaces. Not only shall it enable our bureaucracy to better transition into the ‘new normal’ but it will also cut or minimize red tape and corruption,” he added.

The bill primarily seeks to provide 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.

Go reiterated the passage of the measure into law will accelerate the digital transformation by removing the delays and other issues that come with traditional governance in communications, resource sharing, and information sharing.

“Nagbabago na po ang panahon. Meron na tayong makabagong pamamaraan ng pamumuhay. Meron na tayong makabagong teknolohiya (The times have changed. We are now living under a new normal. We now have to rely on the use of new technology),” he said.

“Hindi dapat nagpapahuli ang ating gobyerno (The government should not lag behind). In fact, the government should spearhead the country’s transition to the digital age,” Go pointed out.

“As we work towards pandemic recovery, the transition to e-governance becomes crucial, particularly the digitalizing of government processes. 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 (We now have the internet though there is a need to improve the services. Technology is available to us. Let us use it to help our nation recover from the crisis and revive our economy),” he stressed.