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Access for all, data security and efficiency should be ensured under E-Governance 

A network of digital advocates said today that the government should ensure that the e-governance program of the Marcos Jr. administration is secure, efficient, and accessible to all. 

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that government should make the necessary steps in ensuring that the information passing through e-governance platforms will not be compromised and its mechanisms are efficient.

“It is important that the government will ensure that information emanating from transactions coursed through e-governance platforms will be safe from data compromise. It is of tantamount importance that the personal information of the public will not be leaked or stolen through this program.”

Gustilo said that any incident of data compromise involving the public and the private sector should be fixed with utmost urgency as digitalization may be beneficial in providing ease of doing business but also comes with a risk. The most recent incident of alleged government data leak is the May 2023 incident where 817 gigabytes worth of data from Philippine National Police database was exposed. 

Virtual private network service provider Surfshark said in a October 2022 report that the Philippines ranked 23rd out of 250 countries that were most affected by data breaches, with a total of 523,684 leaked accounts in the third quarter of 2022.

“The push for digitalization, both in governance and enterprises, are being setback by incidents of data compromise and scams involving digital payment platforms including e-wallets and mobile banking. This is something that the government should work on to make the public trust the digitalization program.”

Gustilo also added that the government should provide necessary assistance to telecommunication and internet service providers and enable them to fast track the construction and operation of facilities that will provide network coverage and internet service in far-flung areas of the country. By making telecommunication and internet service accessible to the wider population, majority of the public will be able to utilize digitalized government services.

“The ease of doing business that will be coming along with the digitalization of governance will only be fruitful if the vast majority of the Filipinos will have access to it. By making telco and internet service available even to the farthest barangays, the success of e-governance could be a lasting legacy for the current administration. Hence, the government should ensure that providers will be able to operate facilities at the soonest possible time.”

Recently, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr signed Executive Order number 32, streamlining the requirements to construct, operate and maintain telecommunication and internet service facilities. Digital Pinoys welcomed the issuance of the EO. ###