Thursday, February 29, 2024

PH gov’t hopes digital transformation will halt widespread corruption

The current administration said its digital transformation initiatives will be crucial in curbing widespread corruption in the government.

Executive secretary Lucas Bersamin said several initiative reforms, including the digitalization of government transactions, will “fight corrupt practices.”

Speaking of corruption, the Philippines slightly improved its standing in the 2023 global corruption index.

“We consider this result as both a challenge to do better and a reason for hope that the country is headed in the right direction,” Bersamin said in a statement.

The Philippines ranked 115th among 180 countries in the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of global anti-graft watchdog Transparency International, improving from its 116th ranking in 2022.

The country obtained a CPI score of 34 out of 100, a notch higher than its score of 33 in 2022.

The 180 countries and territories in the world are scored based on the perceived levels of public sector corruption, with 0 being “highly corrupt” to 100 being “very clean.”

The 2023 report released this week found that more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 out of 100, “which strongly indicates that they have serious corruption problems.”

“Earnest efforts are already being undertaken to implement the digital transformation mandate of the administration in order to streamline institutional processes and curtail opportunities for graft and corruption,” Bersamin said.

The digitalization efforts, he said, are in line with Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for the government “to show in deeds, not in words, that it is deserving of the people’s trust.”

Last year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reported that they are now mapping the processes of different agencies so they can be able to collate them in a single system.

Even local government units, they said, are covered by the ease of doing business law, particularly under Section 11, which requires them to set up and traditionalize electronic business one-stop-shop, which will standardize LGU requirements.

Marcos also directed the DICT and ARTA to assist LGUs in adopting the Business Permits and Licensing Systems (BPLS) system in all cities and municipalities.

In early 2023, Marcos Jr. said he has ordered to speed up the digitalization of the National Identification (ID) system that could be used for public and private transactions, as well as boost cyber security.

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