House to prioritize these twin digitalization measures upon return of sessions

The House of Representatives has set its sights on quickly passing the proposed E-Governance Act and E-Government Act once sessions resume on Nov. 7.

Speaker Martin Romualdez (Speaker's office)

House Speaker Martin Romualdez has made this assurance to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who had previously named the twin measures as a priority of his administration. The latter has said that enacting these measures would enable the country to catch up with other nations in the digital economy.

“The House of Representatives has already initiated its digitalization program and I assure the public that we are exerting all efforts to deliver faster service and eliminate red tape in government transactions,” Romualdez said in a statement Friday, Oct. 28.

The House has started its own digitalization project after a team of officers of the chamber led by Secretary General Reginald Velasco learned best practices in this area during a meeting with representatives of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of the United States (US) Congress in Washington DC recently.

The House Committee on Information and Communications Technology chaired by Navotas City lone district Rep. Tobias Tiangco has already formed a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate the two related digitalization bills.

Romualdez, who represents Leyte's 1st district, is the principal author of House Bill (HB) No.3, or the proposed E-Governance Act of 2022.

“I have asked the committee to submit a report as soon as possible so we could expedite plenary approval of the consolidated bill,” he said.

“We are one with President BBM (Marcos) and the executive department in making government transactions and delivering services in a faster, more efficient and more transparent way through digital platform,” added the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) president.

In filing HB No.3, Romualdez said government policies “must be responsive to the needs of our people, rather than burden them with totally avoidable restrictions".

He said digitalization “is evidently the most efficient solution to the gap in the delivery of government services".

His co-authors of the measure are House Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, and Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre of Tingog Party-list.

The House is currently in the middle of a month-long recess.