Mobile platform to boost ease of doing business, lessen corruption in gov’t
The government on Friday launched the eGov Super App, a one-stop-shop platform for national and local government services that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said will provide the public with hassle-free transactions and curb corruption.
“This is what we are pushing for. This is what e-governance is about — to bring it all together, to make it simple and available and accessible,” President Marcos said as he congratulated the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for launching the eGov Super App at the Palace.
“I am very, very happy that we are going in this direction. There is another part of this that is extremely important, that… sometimes we do not talk about, and that is the lessening of corruption,” Marcos added.
Marcos said it was important to digitalize government services to make them “useful, easy and convenient” for ordinary Filipinos.
He said maximizing the use of new technologies would also get rid of fixers who ask for money, in exchange for facilitating transactions with government agencies.
“There is another part of this that is extremely important, that we sometimes do not talk about and that is the lessening of corruption,” the President said. “It simplifies the process especially for the citizens and there is no discretion being exercised by anyone… We should not allow them to continue to suffer from these antiquated, corrupt, inefficient systems.”
Marcos said he is looking forward to the success of eGov Super App, emphasizing that the launching of the online platform is a “very good step” in attaining his administration’s full digital and economic transformation goals.
The eGov PH mobile application allows users to transact with government agencies, pay bills, and access essential information about government programs and services online.
‘Proper’ national IDs
Marcos vowed to make the eGov Super App “more extensive” and “more sophisticated” to increase the country’s global competitiveness.
He said the government is also looking for those who could help in the faster release of actual Philippine IDs (PhilIDs), the printing of which he said was “a little unsatisfactory.”
Marcos also acknowledged that the PhilIDs would become a “central focal point” for the dissemination of information and services as it would serve as a “proper ID in a sense that it contains data that is critical or important or that is necessary for the conduct of business in government.”
“So, that’s what we are working on. I think we are making new progress. We are finding those groups who are able to print them out,” Marcos said.
“This is what we are aiming for. But this is an extremely important step in heading down the road of digitalizing our bureaucracy, our government functions. And this will extend not only to the national government. This will extend to even the local government,” he added.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday said there were about 37.3 million printed PhilIDs turned over to Philippine Postal Corp.
The PSA is now coordinating with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to accelerate the printing of IDs.
Marcos also stressed the need to pursue “high-impact” innovations to enable the Philippines to compete on an “even basis” with the United States and Europe.
He reiterated that the country has to adopt the digital transformation.
“Government as well must be able to identify and utilize high-impact innovations to improve its own governance and transform itself into an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the people’s needs,” he said.
“This is not an option that we might want to examine. This is something that we need to do. We have no option of not doing this. This is something that is required,” Marcos added.
“We did a survey of how people used the internet in the Philippines and the result was quite enlightening. They say, 95 percent of their daily activities, the shopping, the paying, the bank, even the payments to the government, 95 percent are done online,” he said. “What is the 5 percent? Government. We cannot do it online, we have to go to the office, we have to collect the birth certificate, the documentation, the clearance and then we go to the government and they say ‘you’re missing one document.’ So you have to go back. That just won’t work.”
Integrated financial management
As part of efforts to make the bureaucracy more efficient, the President signed an executive order tasking all government offices and local government units (LGUs) to adopt and implement an integrated financial management information system (IFMIS) in their transactions with the general public.
Executive Order No. 29 also enjoins government-owned or controlled state corporations to adopt and implement an IFMIS in all of their transactions.
Mr. Marcos also ordered the creation of a Public Financial Management (PFM) Committee, composed of representatives from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), Commission on Audit (COA), and the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), to help in the transition to full digitalization of the PFM processes through the IFMIS.
The EO was issued based on the recommendation of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) for Digital Infrastructure to help promote efficiency, transparency and ease of doing business with the government.
The committee will conduct policy and process review of key PFM processes, including budget management and execution, cash management, and accounting and reporting to pinpoint bottlenecks and update corresponding policies; re-engineer PFM processes and maximize the use of financial systems to ensure seamless government transactions; and devise a strategic plan through the development of a PFM Reforms Roadmap to expedite the development of IFMIS, while ensuring harmonization of policies across oversight agencies.
The PFM Committee will also come up with a five-year plan for the development and implementation of the IFMIS that links national government agencies with DBM, DOF, COA, and Btr.
The EO said the PFM committee will also “shepherd and champion the passage of supporting legislation in Congress; coordinate budgetary and donor funding to support PFM reform efforts; provide comprehensive annual reports on all project milestones, findings, and recommendations to the Office of the President; and, issue necessary implementing policies, mechanisms, and procedures to carry out the objectives of the order.”
The committee is also directed to issue guidelines pertaining to the transitional arrangement to be followed by the concerned government agencies in the full adoption of the IFMIS.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology will provide technical and policy support in the development and implementation of the IFMIS, the EO said.