May 23, 2012
USE E-GOVERNANCE FOR EXCELLENT GOVERNANCE - ANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated that government should utilize Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to improve and enhance its services and processes during his keynote speech at the 2nd FutureGov Forum Philippines in Makati.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said that while the country has been dubbed the contact center, texting and social media capital of the world, half of the population, or around 50 million Filipinos, still do not have access to the Internet.
"Internet penetration is still very low throughout the country, although it is growing," said Angara. "This electronic divide is only deepening the social and economic gaps we are already suffering."
The veteran lawmaker, also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), continued, "ICT is exactly the vehicle, the tool to lessen those inequities and level the playing field for our people--though it might take another generation for the Philippines to accomplish this."
He lamented that with technologies fast evolving, even within a generation, the Philippines will always remain in a catch-up position.
"That is why I always tell my colleagues in government and the private sector that the best way for the country to catch-up and leapfrog in development is by focusing on boosting S&T, particularly through ICT. This is probably the best enabler of them all.
"Through ICT, we can achieve not just e-government but also an excellent government--one that provides the poorest Filipinos with greater access to ICT-driven social services like telehealth and e-learning. This is a government that meaningfully raises the living standards of its people."
Angara is the main proponent of three measures for the development of ICT in the country: the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Data Protection Act and the act creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
All three measures have been passed by Congress and are awaiting hearing at the bicameral conference committee before being transmitted to Malacanang for signing.
In attendance at the FutureGov Forum were representatives from the governments of the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia. The event was organized by FutureGov magazine, and sponsored by SAP, ESRI, Symantec and Blackberry.
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