The digital divide and the lack of infrastructure hamper the eGovernment system


Lawrence Agcaoili – The Filipino Star

September 8, 2020 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – The digital divide, inadequate information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and outdated laws have hampered the establishment of an effective e-government system, according to research conducted by the Institute Philippine Development Studies (PIDS).

These factors must be taken into account as a strong e-government system is essential to the effective delivery of services in the “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an article titled “Innovative Governance: Building Resilience Against the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Risks,” PIDS researchers Aubrey Tabuga, Sonny Domingo, Charlotte Justine Sicat and Valerie Gilbert Ulep highlighted the importance of e-government in the transparent delivery of government services during a pandemic and other similar crises.

The authors stated that “the application of e-government solutions has remained progressive” in the Philippines. “

The long-standing challenges in the use of ICT, which were magnified amid the COVID-19 pandemic, were revealed by the manual distribution of the Social Improvement Program (SAP) and the lack of real-time submission local government surveillance data. units (AS)

The study cited some obstacles that could hinder progress in realizing the potentials of e-government in developing countries like the Philippines.

One is the digital divide, which reveals the gap between those who have access to computers and the Internet and those who do not.

Another problem cited is insufficient ICT infrastructure, including lack of technological skills among leaders, employees, citizens and the vulnerable population; lack of qualified IT developers or managers; lack of interoperability or lack of shared standards and compatible infrastructure between government agencies and lack of hardware.

The study also called the country’s ICT legal framework “outdated laws and policies, with overlapping authority functions potentially hampering the implementation of e-government initiatives.”

“Complex laws and regulations can also increase the cost of collaboration for various agencies,” the authors said.

E-government was introduced in the country in 2000 with the creation of the Government Information System Plan (GISP), which aimed to computerize government operations and activities. After the GISP, there are e-government reforms such as the Electronic Commerce Law and the Electronic Purchasing Law.

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