To ensure better services for the Filipino people, some PhP5.1 billion will be spent in 2019 to improve government connectivity and interoperability through information technology (IT) improvements.
This was revealed by Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno as he assured the public that the Duterte Administration is moving quickly and in step with the private sector in harnessing IT advancements to bring government social programs to 67 million online Filipinos.
“The proposed PhP5.1 billion budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will include some PhP1.5 billion for free internet Wi-Fi access in public places and state universities and colleges (SUCs). This will enable the public to avail of government online services anytime, anywhere,” Secretary Diokno said.
These online services include those provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (e.g., birth and marriage certificates), National Bureau of Investigation (e.g., NBI clearance), Department of Social Welfare and Development (e.g., Persons with Disabilities Card), Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (e.g., scholarship and financial assistance), among others.
With 63 percent of its population composed of internet and social media users, the Philippines is among the top 20 countries in terms of internet use. As such, the government is taking leaps to cater to the needs of an internet-savvy population.
“We are also funding the National Government Portal (NGP) Project of the DICT to serve as a one-stop gateway for all web-based government information which will equate to rapid, high quality, and more efficient services to the citizens, “ Diokno emphasized.
The NGP’s design will enable Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B), and Government to Government (G2G) services to happen in one venue. This will enable faster, more reliable and more efficient government services for the public, while improving government interoperability. In fact, the NGP has already interconnected 34 government agencies in 2018.