THE DIGITALIZATION of industries and public services should start from local government units (LGUs), experts at a forum held by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) last week said.
LGUs, even the small ones, have been receptive to the shift to digitalization, Dragonpay founder and CEO Robertson Chiang said in an interview at the sidelines of the forum.
“It could be done. It’s really just the political will of the mayor if they want to do it or not,” he added.
Government services, including the payment of taxes and documents, should be done digitally to help cater to overseas transactions from Filipinos working abroad, Mr. Chiang said.
“We would want LGUs to have a system that can be accessed by their citizen through the Internet. They should be able to view anything from their property taxes to business permits online,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vice Catudio, chief of party of USAID SPEED or Strengthening Private Enterprises for the Digital Economy Activity, said the shift to digitalization starts with educating LGUs on technology.
“By educating our LGUs and teaching them about technology and what technology can do, I think a lot of our LGUs will shift to digitalization,” he said in his speech.
Aside from using digital payments in government transactions, for their part, digitalizing Halal goods and services is necessary to the development of the Bangsamoro region, Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino bin Anthony, ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines, said in his speech at the event.
“The Philippines has a strong ecosystem that can support it (Halal economy),” he said. “The collaboration between private and public sectors is crucial because the government may no longer rely on their own funding or their own manpower to achieve the objective and target in terms of development.”
“I encourage LGUs to look at this concept in a more structured manner… Halal economy is not only meant for Muslims. It is meant for every aspect of the population… Halal constitutes a clear example or clear channel for us to develop the economy there (Bangsamoro region),” Mr. Castelino added. — J.R. Paguian