Marcos to gov’t: Digitize, make services more accessible | Inquirer News

Gov’t must digitize, make services more accessible – Bongbong Marcos

/ 01:28 AM July 26, 2022

Laptop with Wi-Fi symbol. STORY: Gov’t must digitize, make services more accessible – Bongbong Marcos stock photo

MANILA, Philippines — The government should digitize and make its services more accessible while trying to bridge the growing digital divide among Filipinos, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said during his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

According to Marcos, the Department of Information and Communications Technology has a big task at hand as it would be in charge of ensuring that the government’s services and transactions would be up to par with the latest technology.


“It has the daunting task now of transforming our government into an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the needs of the public, provide good and solid data to ensure informed decision-making, as well as allow secure and seamless access to public services,” he told lawmakers and guests at the Sona.


“The voluminous records stored in the government warehouses and archives have to be digitized. Those that are already stored in various inventories of data should be harmonized and shared across departments and agencies.  Needless to say, these have to be kept in large data centers that are secure yet accessible,” he added.

Marcos noted that the national ID system would be key to digitization programs, as it would make people’s identities easily verifiable.

The chief executive said the government was aiming to release 30 million physical and 20 million digital identification cards before the end of the year — and go into the 92-million range by the middle of 2023.

However, Marcos also raised concerns about this program as it could increase the digital divide – that is, between people who could access online services and those who could not.

“As the world moves into rapid digitalization, the digital divide will become more pronounced. The depth and breadth at which these technologies will be transformative in our lives is fully expected,” he said.

“This will open new opportunities for the creation of wealth but will also likely create inequalities.  Hence, universal connectivity will be a vital component in order to ensure that no citizen is left behind,” he added.


Marcos said that he had asked the DICT to counter this through the ‘Broad Band ng Masa’ project — or the national plan that would include isolated areas.

“All relevant modes of digital transport should be utilized. These may be through a combination of terrestrial or submarine fiber optics, wireless, and even satellite technology,” he said.

The Philippines has made recent strides in achieving faster internet speeds, a factor that is vital in ushering in digital transformation.

Last April, the Ookla Speedtest Global Index Rankings ranked the country at 93rd place in median download speeds over mobile data and 60th in fixed broadband connections.

According to Ookla, internet speeds and the customers’ reaction towards telecommunication companies improved with better regulation towards the products, efforts to make the creation of infrastructure for networks easier, and the entry of a third telco.


Ookla Q1 report shows faster PH internet; Caloocan tops cities in download speeds

Customers’ perception of telcos improves with entry of third competitor — Ookla

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