By Jose Cielito Reganit, October 28, 2022; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Friday assured President Ferdinand R. Marcos that the House of Representatives would speed up plenary approval of bills seeking to digitalize the government’s voluminous records under the proposed E-Governance Act and E-Government Act when Congress resumes its session on Nov. 7.

“We are one with President BBM and the Executive department in making government transactions, and delivering services, in a faster, more efficient, and more transparent way through digital platform,” Romualdez said in a statement.

Romualdez made the assurance following the President’s call for the swift passage of the measures in Congress to enable his administration to improve service delivery in the government, and for the country to catch up with other nations in the digital economy.

According to the Speaker, the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology chaired by Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco has already formed a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate the proposed E-Governance Act and E-Government Act.

The TWG is headed by Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Cheeno Miguel Almario.

“I have asked the committee to submit a report as soon as possible so we could expedite plenary approval of the consolidated bill,” Romualdez said.

Consolidating the two bills was among the commitment made by the House of Representatives during the recent Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting.

Romualdez is the principal author of House Bill (HB) No. 3, or the proposed E-Governance Act of 2022. His co-authors of the measure are House Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” A. Marcos, and Tingog Partylist Representatives Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude Acidre.

In filing HB No. 3, Romualdez said government policies “must be responsive to the needs of our people, rather than burden them with totally avoidable restrictions.”

“Digitalization is evidently the most efficient solution to the gap in the delivery of government services,” he said.

In fact, Romualdez said the House has started its own digitalization project after a team of officers of the Chamber, led by Secretary General Reginald Velasco, learned best practices in this field during a recent meeting with representatives of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of the United States Congress in Washington D.C.

“The House of Representatives has already initiated its digitalization program, and I assure the public that we are exerting all efforts to deliver faster service and eliminate red tape in government transactions,” he said. (PNA)