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Digitalization could curb corruption – DICT chief

INTEGRATING technology into government transactions would not only streamline processes but also reduce bureaucratic corruption, a Cabinet official said.

«You cannot coerce a machine,» said Secretary Ivan John Uy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). «You cannot bribe a machine to do something.»

Uy made this point during an interview on «PrimeTimes with Atty. Lia,» a program of The Manila Times hosted by lawyer Lia Badillo-Crisostomo.

Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

The mobile application eGov PH, also known as e-Government Philippines, was recently launched to simplify transactions between the government and citizens in a bid to build a connected nation.

The platform provides a one-stop online system that aims to minimize economic costs for the public.

Uy said the DICT is helping other government agencies develop more functionalities and integrate their services into the app, which will soon have an electronic payment feature.


«Coming soon will be our eGov Pay system… that will basically complete the transaction cycle because once you [make] the payment, then you have e-government receipts that are issued,» he said.

«It provides better accountability, transparency, and fewer opportunities for corruption because there are lesser opportunities for people to meet face-to-face where transactions — the illicit ones — happen.»

Bridging digital divide

These initiatives toward digital transformation, said Uy, also reflect a vision of «a government that doesn't sleep; a 24/7 government that doesn't take a vacation or sick leaves; doesn't go on a weekend [or] lunch break.»


«I think that's a significant improvement to what we currently have, where as soon as Friday comes, all government transactions just stop completely, and you have the whole weekend doing nothing,» he added.

Having been in office for almost two years, the Cabinet official said that much work needs to be done, particularly in the area of connectivity.

Uy said that while urban areas have adequate connectivity, several remote areas remain isolated and disconnected.

«Without connectivity, those