Solon pushes for full electronic transactions in gov?t offices

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A Mindanao lawmaker is seeking the full implementation of the use of electronic documents and signatures in government agencies to simplify and promote efficiency in all public transactions.

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Davao del Norte representative Anthony G. Del Rosario, through House Bill 80, is seeking to amend Republic Act 8792 or the “Electronic Commerce Act of 2000,” still under consideration by the Committee on Revision of Laws.

“With the rapid advance in the electronic world, we cannot but try to keep abreast with it. Congress should not be complacent, otherwise the country will be left crawling in the dustbin of modern technology, and the people will continue to be in the quagmire of hopelessness and poverty,” Del Rosario stressed.

“R.A 8792 recognizes the use of electronic technology in commercial and non-commercial transactions. In particular, Section 27 mandates all department, bureaus, offices and agencies of the government, as well as all government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), including local government units (LGUs), to issue permits, licenses or certificates of registration or approval or provide for the method and manner of payment or settlement of fees and other obligations to the government utilizing electronic technology,” the author pointed out.

HB No. 80 proposes to amend Sections 27 and 33 of the said Act “to achieve less paperwork in practically all aspects of government transactions through the use of electronic technology/devices.”

“The electronic system will surely save government huge amounts of money in terms of paper use, manpower and other factors attending during each transaction by the citizens and by business entities. And most importantly, lessen considerably bureaucratic red tape that breeds the pestering corruption in government,” the lawmaker stressed.

The proposed measure seeks to require the government agencies to submit annual report status to the congressional oversight committee to ensure compliance with the mandate of the law, Del Rosario said.

“Likewise, it seeks to impose the corresponding administrative sanctions for non-compliance with the mandates of the law,” he added.

“Requiring all the agencies and offices of the national government, including GOCCs, and local government units to transact business in electronic form will improve and simplify public services and reduce the expense of the government,” Del Rosario concluded, hoping that the bill could still hurdle the 16th Congress and, if time overtakes it, then the 17th Congress must act on it.

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