The Lower House of Congress, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading, a bill institutionalizing the Philippine government’s shift to e-governance or electronic governance for faster, efficient and improved delivery of services to the general public.

According to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, the principal author of House Bill (HB) No. 7327, titled “An Act institutionalizing the transition of the government to E-Governance in the digital age, creating for the purpose the Philippine Infostructure Management Corp. and appropriating funds therefor,” the measure aims to make government services accessible to the people.

The veteran lawmaker stated further stated that “The bill would make it easier for people to transact with and avail themselves of services from the government through digital platforms. It would make the delivery of services more effective, efficient, and transparent,” Romualdez said.

HB No. 7327 received a total of 304 yes votes and 4 negative votes. It is a consolidation of 21 related measures, including the first proposed E-Governance Law filed in the House, HB No. 3.

Speaker Romualdez stated further that among other objectives, “promote the use of the Internet, information and communications technology (ICT) and emerging technologies within and across government agencies to provide citizen-centric government information and services, and improve the public trust and citizen participation in the government.”

The proposed bill shall cover all executive, legislative, judicial, and constitutional offices, including local government units, state universities and colleges, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and similar state instrumentalities located in the country or abroad.

The e-governance bill would also encourage inter-agency collaboration in the delivery of basic services and in the use of Information Communication Technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of processes in both the local and national government.

Based upon the definition of the bill e-governance means that “application of ICT in establishing interaction between the different levels of government, business and the citizenry.”

“It also involves the implementation of internal government operations meant to simplify and improve both the democratic and business aspects of government,” the measure stated.

The e-governance bill once approved designates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as the principal implementer of the proposed law.

It tasks the DICT to formulate and promote an E-Government Master Plan that will serve as the blueprint for the development and enhancement of all electronic government services processes.

The bill will create the Philippine Infostructure Corp. to manage government ICT assets, including infrastructure, platform, and software. The corporation shall have an authorized capital of P5 billion.

Source: PNA


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