House passes proposed E-Governance Act

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — Voting 304-4, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill institutionalizing the government’s shift to e-governance to improve the efficiency of public services.

House Bill No. 7327 is titled, “An Act institutionalizing the transition of the government to E-Governance in the digital age, creating for the purpose the Philippine Infostructure Management Corp. and appropriating funds therefor.”

The bill is one of the priority measures identified by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The bill seeks to “promote the use of the internet, information and communications technology (ICT) and emerging technologies within and across government agencies to provide citizen-centric government information and services, and improve the public trust and citizen participation in the government.”

It would also encourage inter-agency collaboration in the delivery of services and in the use of ICT to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.

The bill defines E-Governance as the “application of ICT in establishing interaction between the different levels of government, business and the citizenry.”

The proposed E-Governance Act would cover all executive, legislative, judicial, and constitutional offices, including local government units, state universities and colleges, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and similar state instrumentalities located in the country or abroad.

The bill designates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as the main agency in charge of implementing e-governance. Among the tasks assigned to DICT is the formulation and promotion of an E-Government Master Plan that would serve as the blueprint for the development and enhancement of all electronic government services processes.

HB 7327 also proposes the creation of the Philippine Infostructure Corp. to manage government ICT assets, including infrastructure, platform, and software. The corporation shall have an authorized capital of ₱5 billion.