PLDT and Smart Communications expressed their support for the Philippine Government’s e-governance initiative, which aims to provide efficient, transparent, and citizen-centric services through digital platforms.
According to Atty Roy B. Ibay, Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Smart, e-governance is essential for the country to cope with the challenges of globalization, social change, and technological innovation. He said that e-governance can help narrow and bridge the existing digital divide, which refers to the gap between those who have access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and those who do not.
“Governments around the world are now under pressure from rapid globalization, fiscal, social, and technological changes to provide services that are citizen-centric, efficient, transparent, and effective. For e-governance to succeed, a country must narrow and bridge the existing digital divide,” Ibay said during a panel discussion at the Cybersphere Philippines 2023 forum.
However, Ibay also stressed that e-governance requires fundamental structural reforms in the Government to ensure that the digital transformation will be meaningful and positive. He said that the Government must address issues such as corruption, bureaucracy, and inefficiency before implementing e-government solutions.
“For e-governance to succeed, a government must ensure an organized, clean, and corruption-free system of doing and implementing its activities. The cart cannot be put before the horse. Otherwise, digitalizing and expanding government services through a digital platform in whatever current system there is will only magnify the problems or defects, instead of hastening their solution,” Ibay said.
PLDT and Smart support the Government’s nationwide digitalization thrust to narrow the digital divide and bring the benefits of the internet to more communities through the continuous enhancement of the Group’s integrated fixed and wireless networks.
This is also aligned with the Group’s commitment as one of the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar, represented by its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.
These are also in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) particularly SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.
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