March 26, 2023

Second of 3 parts


It all began in the 1990s when digitalization became apparent among our citizens like the proliferation of digital technologies such as automated teller machines (ATM), phone banking and internet banking. Machekhina (2017) defines digitalization as a means to transform all information types (text, sound, visuals, video and other data from various sources) into the digital language (i. e., digitization). Clerck (2017) defines it as the use of electronic technologies and of data in order to create revenue, improve business, replace/transform company processes (i. e., process reengineering) and create an environment for digital business, whereby digital information is at the particular core. Thus, when you use an ATM, the bank automates the function of a teller in an over-the-counter transaction during banking hours. An ATM makes this convenient for the bank’s depositors to do cash withdrawal, account balance, etc . anywhere and anytime without the need to exert time and effort in order to transact within the bank during office hours. Likewise, phone plus internet financial facilities offer the same convenience to depositors, eliminating the need for a helping hand from the bank. Groover (2001) refers to automation since the technology by which a process or procedure is accomplished without human assistance. Hence, digitalization automates service delivery, eliminates unnecessary or duplicate processes while maintaining the lean organization.

In the 1960s to 1980s, digitalization was referred to as computerization of information systems (e. g., accounting, billing, inventory, personnel, etc. ) by multinational companies, and a few in the government sector, as a way to streamline operations and provide better service with optimum number associated with personnel. After two decades, digitalization became clearer within the authorities when several enacted laws were introduced in the country through the proactive full support of the particular different IT organizations. One of which is the Philippine Computer Society (PCS) that was instrumental in the passage of the E-Commerce Law, or Republic Act 8792, on June 14, 2000 and the formation of the Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (ITECC) through Executive Order (EO) 264 (July 12, 2000) — “Establishing ITECC from your merger from the National Technology Council and the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council. ” Even the Automated Election System Legislation, or RA 8436 associated with 1997 or the AES Regulation, and its amendment version, RA 9369 of 2007, was drafted when Comelec sought the particular help of the PCS.

Digitalization, therefore, is simplifying business processes (reengineering) resulting in fully optimized business (rightsizing).

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E-Commerce Act

The particular enactment associated with RA 8792 was one of the major milestones in the Philippine history as it aims to facilitate domestic plus international dealings, transactions, arrangements, agreements, contracts and exchanges, and storage of information via the utilization of electronic, optical and similar medium, mode, instrumentality and technology to recognize the authenticity and reliability of electronic documents related to such activities and to promote the universal use of digital transaction within the federal government and general public. The law also provides legal recognition of electronic documents or the same legal status as paper-based counterparts and such is relevant in facilitating both commercial plus non-commercial digital transactions. As stipulated, the particular Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mandated to direct and supervise the promotion and development of electronic commerce in the country. And since it mandates almost all government agencies to transact business plus perform their respective functions electronically within two years, this only means the digitalization of their respective business procedures up to 06 19, 2002. That was 22 years ago!

Right after a month, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 8792 has been digitally signed on July 14, 2k by the particular DTI, the Department associated with Budget plus Management and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas during the plenary session of the particular Global Information Infrastructure Commission’s Asia Regional Conference held in Makati City. Take note, the IRR had been promulgated a month after — that was very quick showing close coordination of the companies concerned. On the contrary, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) didn’t even bother to promulgate the IRR from the AES Law since 1997; that’s 25 years ago. At least, the particular Comelec tried to completely implement electronic signing of election returns in the 2022 elections. Perhaps something might happen within the 19th Congress.

Anyway, to fast-track the implementation of RA 8792, the particular ITECC has been created to oversee the implementation, conduct of periodic reviews plus updating of the National I . t Action Agenda for the particular 21st Century, the Government Info Systems Plan (GISP) and their successor plans. A year later, acting on the memorandum dated June 18, 2001 of the particular committee on the revision of the rules associated with court in order to draft the particular rules on the E-Commerce Take action, the Supreme Court issued AM 01-7-01-SC, otherwise known as the “Rules upon Electronic Evidence” which took effect on Aug. 1, 2001.

What happened after June 19, 2000? Compliance with RA 8792 had been very low within spite of budgets allocated to govt agencies. In fact , the preliminary results around the e-commerce readiness of the top government agencies in the country, covering 52 government departments/agencies and one local government unit, was presented publicly upon Dec. 17, 2002 by the DTI throughout the Chief Details Officer Foundation membership meeting. Based on the scorecard (Torres, 2002), the top 10 that will complied were the Bureau of Internal Revenue or even BIR (Rank 1), Agency of Customs, National Statistics Office, Trade Investment Development Corp. associated with the Philippines, Department of Energy, Land Transportation Franchising plus Regulatory Board, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department from the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp., Social Security System (SSS), DTI, Land Transport Office (LTO), Philippine Deposit and Insurance Corp., Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine National Police, Division of Public Works plus Highways, and National Bureau of Investigation (Rank 10). Regrettably, the particular Comelec then was non-compliant! When interviewed regarding their own compliance with RA 8792, a high-ranking Comelec official said then, “I disagree in the sense that I do not know that there was such compliance [requirement]. If there is compliance [mandated], We should know because this is a law and it has been since 2000. I did not hear of that in the Comelec or from anyone here. I actually heard about it upon my own because of our continuing legal education. ”

Within 2006, PERSONAL COMPUTERS helped the Commission on Information plus Communications Technology (CICT) in formulating the first ever GISP within the nation. It was already envisioned after that the best priority plan was the particular putting up associated with the national broadband network (NBN) to connect all the islands of the country — 16 years back! The NBN was planned to support the particular full execution of the E-Commerce Law. That could possess been the start of the fast and low-cost internet connectivity had it not already been tainted from the ZTE scandal.

Even before the NBN, its predecessors, Topweb (1996) and RPWeb, failed. The latter’s objective as stipulated in RA 8792 Section 28 will be to advertise the make use of electronic documents or even electronic data messages in government and also to the general public. The particular RPWeb system should have got served as the initial platform of the government info infrastructure to facilitate the particular electronic online transmission and conveyance associated with government services then under the supervision from the former Section of Transportation and Communications, National Telecommunications Commission plus National Computer Center.

SONA’s digitalization

In the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last week, digitalization was emphasized and highlighted the particular mission of the Department of Information and Telecommunications (DICT) “to identify plus utilize innovations to improve governance” simply by “transforming our own government into an agile bureaucracy that is responsive to the needs from the public, provide good and solid data in order to ensure informed decision-making, as well as allow secure and seamless access to public solutions. ” He proposed in order to legislate the following in support of digitalization:

– E-Government Work, which offers for the establishment of the E-Government Master Strategy which will cover all e-government services and processes. (This is similar to GISP. )

– Internet Transaction Act or E-Commerce Legislation, which aims to establish a good effective regulation of commercial activities by means of the internet or digital means to ensure that consumer rights plus data privacy are protected, innovation is usually encouraged, fair advertising practices and competition are promoted, online transactions are secured, intellectual property rights are protected, and product standards and safety are observed. (There’s a need to review plus amend RA 8792, if needed. )

– E-Governance Behave, which promotes use associated with internet, intranet and other ICT to provide opportunities for residents.

The above three proposed Acts vis digitalization will greatly augment the particular proposed legislation for Nationwide Government Rightsizing Program (NGRP), “a reform mechanism that will seeks in order to enhance the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better providers, while ensuring optimal and efficient use of resources. ” When a government office is digitalized, expect that service delivery is quick with less human assistance. Reiterating the effect of digitalization, it simplifies business processes (reengineering) resulting in fully optimized organization (rightsizing).

Tracking back the statement of former President Duterte in his fourth SONA (2019): “I reiterate my government. My directive to the authorities and instrumentalities, including the particular LGUs plus the federal government corporations… simplify… I authorized the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Support Delivery Action (RA 11032)… to enhance service shipping and fight corruption… However, much [has] to be done in making sure our responsiveness to the people’s requirements. Based on complaints received by the Contact Center [ng] Bayan… the particular LTO, SSS, BIR, LRA and Pag-IBIG are the top five firms that need in order to drastically improve their support… You can do this electronically. inch

Next week, Aug. 10, 2022:

Metamorphosis of DICT

Related topics:

Celis, N. (2018). “Compliance Theory: A Case Study Approach within Understanding Organizational Commitment, ”

Celis, N. (24 July 2019). “Digital transformation 2019-2022, inch

Celis, N. (18 December 2019). ”

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