By Tracy Cabrera
The Duterte administration has set aside P5.1 billion in the 2019 national budget to improve government connectivity and interoperability through information technology (IT) improvements, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
In an official statement, budget and management secretary Benjamin Diokno assured the public that government 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 P5.1 billion budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will include some P1.5 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,” Diokno disclosed.
The said online services will 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,” the budget secretary explained.
“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 added.
Accordingly, 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 and enable faster, more reliable and more efficient government services for the public, while improving government interoperability.