Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)
MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go pushed for the passage of the E-Governance Bill, saying digitalization of government services has become essential.
This, as the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) study showed that losses in Filipino workers’ wages and productivity because of Covid-19 have been estimated to reach as much as PHP2.3 trillion during their lifetime.
“I have a pending bill in the Senate, the proposed E-Governance Act that I filed on my first year as a Senator. It can serve partly as a blueprint and model on how we transform many processes into digitalized form,” Go said in a news release on Friday.
The bill seeks to establish an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource-sharing communications network in government for the speedy delivery of public services.
Apart from the government network, the bill likewise provides for the establishment of an internal records management information system and a centralized information database.
It provides for the establishment and sustenance of digital portals through which the public may request for and receive public services and also pushes for the digitization of paper-based and other traditional modes of workflows for a more efficient and transparent public service.
The measure aims to serve as a guide for the country’s eventual transition to the digital age, enabling the government to run more efficiently. This is in line with the government’s push to be closer to its constituents, offering improved access to the government through the use of modern technology.
One form of this proposed nationwide digitalization specifically geared toward addressing public health issues is the use and implementation of eHealth services, which is sought to be institutionalized through the eHealth bill filed by Go.
The measure provides for the use of information and communication technologies for health or eHealth as one of the enabling strategic instruments not only to address current disparities in service care delivery and timely access to information for better decision-making and intervention, but also to support and facilitate the achievement of the Universal Health Care goals of better outcomes, sustained health financing, and responsive health system.
Go, a presidential aspirant who vowed to continue the programs of the Duterte administration, also said the current administration has institutionalized reforms to streamline government processes such as the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, the creation of an Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), facilitating the transition to E-Governance, and the implementation of the Philippine ID System, among others.
He said he plans to establish more Malasakit Centers to help with the hospitalization cost of indigent Filipinos. He authored and sponsored the passage of Republic Act No. 11463, or the Malasakit Center Act.
The Malasakit Center Act provides poor and indigent Filipinos who had been hospitalized convenient access to the government’s various medical assistance programs.
There are currently 149 fully operational Malasakit Centers nationwide, which Go wants to double in his first 100 days, if elected president in May 2022 elections.
“My goal is that every public hospital in the country will have a Malasakit Center. We will bring down to the lowest amount possible, if not zero balance, the hospital bill of our poor people,” Go said. (PR)