Leading integrated telco PLDT Inc (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) are pushing for the continued narrowing of the digital divide in support for the Government’s e-governance mandate.

“Governments around the world are now under pressure from rapid globalization, fiscal, social and technological changes to provide services that are citizen-centric, efficient, transparent, and effective. For e-governance to succeed, a country must narrow and bridge the existing digital divide,” said Atty Roy B. Ibay, Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Smart.

In a recent panel at the Cybersphere Philippines 2023 forum, Ibay also highlighted the importance of fundamental structural changes in Government to ensure that an e-government platform will be maximized.

“For e-governance to succeed, a government must ensure an organized, clean, and corruption-free system of doing and implementing its activities. The cart cannot be put before the horse. Otherwise, digitalizing and expanding government services through a digital platform in whatever current system there is will only magnify the problems or defects, instead of hastening their solution,” Ibay said.

Citing the role that private telcos in the Philippines have played in spurring telecoms development in the country and in narrowing the digital divide, Ibay also hailed the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) led by DICT Sec Ivan John Uy for initiating eGovPH, a mobile application that simplifies transactions between the Government and citizens.

“With a vision to build a connected nation, this platform integrates the multi-sectoral government through a one-stop online system that will minimize economic cost for the citizens. My only hope is that changes are also taking place alongside these innovations to effect a meaningful and positive transformation in the country,” Ibay said.

PLDT and Smart support the Government’s nationwide digitalization thrust to narrow the digital divide and bring the benefits of the internet to more communities through the continuous enhancement of the Group’s integrated fixed and wireless networks. This is also aligned with the Group’s commitment as one of the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar, represented by its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.

These are also in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) particularly SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.