Gov’t prioritizing digital transformation in proposed 2021 budget

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The Philippine government said it is firm on facing the digital economy head-on as allocations have been included for this under the proposed 2021 national budget, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) secretary Wendel Avisado said.

DBM secretary Wendel Avisado

During the second virtual pre-State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) briefing on Wednesday, July 15, Avisado said financing for the government’s digital transformation is among the priorities for next year’s national budget.

“The only way for us to boost our economy is to be digital. For next year, the government plans to fast-track programs that will promote digitalization of the economy, the health sector, and the government social assistance, among others,” he said.

Avisado, however, did not indicate any figure on how much will be the total budget for digitalization upgrading of the government.

Among the programs that are expected to benefit in the digitalization budget include the distance learning program of the Department of the Education (DepEd) and the procurement of telemedicine kits, he said.

Aside from the budget for digitalization programs for next year, Avisado said the government will increase the budget for the implementation of the national identification (ID), which will be rolled out later this year.

“There will also be an increase in the budget for the Philippine identification system to fast-track its implementation,” he added.

The government is proposing a P4.335-trillion national budget for next year, higher than this year’s P4.1-trillion budget.

Avisado earlier said they will conduct executive reviews on the proposed 2021 budget in the first week of July for the final copy to be submitted either after the President’s SONA on July 27, or until the second week of August. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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