House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has proposed partnerships with the US and India to build digital public infrastructure in the Philippines.

“It is very important for the Philippines, India, and the US to lead in this digital public infrastructure initiative because nations have much to gain from this,” he said following the Digital Public Infrastructure lecture on Saturday at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, DC.

He said that developing the Philippines’ digital infrastructure “is very much aligned with the campaign promise of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to speed up the country’s digital transformation.”

The House of Representatives passed on third reading an e-governance bill on March 6, which “seeks to shift the entire bureaucracy to the digital space for faster and transparent delivery of services, and for better engagement with the public,” according to Mr. Romualdez.

A counterpart bill in the Senate is currently at the committee level.

If passed into law, the digitization of paper documents and processes is expected to encourage cooperation between the government and the private sector in improving the ease of doing business.

The information technology and business process management industries in India account for over 55% of the global outsourcing market.

The Indian government also launched its Digital India Mission in 2015 to focus on using technology and digitalization to enhance governance.

Meanwhile, the United States Agency for International Development in January allotted $18 million to help Philippine small and medium enterprises enhance their digitalization transformation. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz