Senator Alan Peter Cayetano fully believes e-governance can be a “game-changer” in the Philippines but said both the public and private sectors should work hard together to implement it fully in the country.
“We must see e-governance as a blessing to our country because it makes government services more efficient, less prone to corruption, and more inclusive,” Cayetano said ahead of a committee hearing on Monday (May 22, 2023) of the Committee on Science and Technology which he heads.
“But we must truly want to have e-governance if it is to become reality. We must demand it from government,” he added.
Cayetano said Monday’s committee hearing will pursue the issue of how to modernize the country’s digital infrastructure “to ensure that all Filipinos have access to affordable, quality, secure, and up-to-date information and communication technologies.”
This includes how the government and the private sector can work together to make sure there is reliable and affordable broadband internet service for everyone and that internet-enabled devices are made available at affordable prices.
According to Cayetano, accessible and affordable internet will go a long way in leveling the playing field especially for Filipinos living in remote areas since information will be made available to them.
Cayetano, however, added that there is still much work to be done in terms of easy internet access and availability but that this challenge will definitely be taken on and pursued by the committee.
Cayetano said there is also a need to create computer and mobile applications and online content that are “designed to enable and encourage participation, interaction, and development.”
Citing the often long and frustrating process of accessing government services and even financial assistance, Cayetano said the people want a simpler and more convenient way to connect with the government.
“Achieving accessible and affordable access to internet service and information and communication technologies is a matter of social and economic justice. But we must also,” he said.
Cayetano said he believes e-governance can be a “game-changer” because it not only speeds up services but removes many avenues of corruption.
“E-governance will not be a slow evolution but a quantum leap — from slow and corruption-riddled to fast and clean processes. It will eliminate possibilities of corruption in the government’s provision of services,” he said.
Acknowledging the big challenges that lie ahead, Cayetano nevertheless said pursuing e-governance will redound to the benefit of Filipinos for generations to come as services become more accessible, improving the lives of the people around the country.