by: Emily Vizmonte, Cirrolytix Research Services
The June 2022 Philippines Economic Update by the World Bank lays out a comprehensive action plan to expedite the digitalization of the Philippine government, emphasizing capacity building and inter-agency coordination as crucial drivers for digital transformation.
The first measure involves strengthening the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) with sufficient human and financial resources. As the lead agency overseeing the country’s digitalization, DICT’s capabilities will play a central role in integrating fragmented systems and developing digital skills across public sector entities.
The second strategy recommends expediting the digital transformation of core government processes, such as budget, financial management, and human resources. These foundational processes significantly influence the overall performance of public services, making their digital evolution a crucial aspect of government digitalization.
The report also emphasizes the need for re-engineering and simplification of government business processes to go beyond mere digitization. This process should involve a shift in perspective, moving towards an optimization and integration approach that enhances overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Additionally, the modernization of procurement policies is highlighted as a necessary step towards fostering an environment conducive to digital technology projects. The report also stresses the importance of focusing on local government unit (LGU) digitalization, with recommendations to leverage re-usable software, cloud computing, and infrastructure tools to facilitate their digital transition.
To overcome the challenges highlighted in the report, such as limited digital skills among government officials and a fragmented approach to digital transformation, the focus should be on capacity building. Moreover, coordinating efforts between agencies to create integrated systems will provide the necessary structure for seamless digital transformation.
By embracing these strategic measures, the Philippines can accelerate the digitalization of its government, catalyze domestic recovery, and pave the way for a resilient digital economy. The emphasis on capacity building and integration underscores the holistic approach required, demonstrating the interconnectedness of these components in constructing a robust digital ecosystem.
World Bank Group. (2022). Philippines Economic Update: Strengthening the Digital Economy to Boost Domestic Recovery. World Bank Group. Retrieved from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/099325006072264961/P177408091735101c0b25405cf39f312c86