ONLY 30% of local government units (LGUs) have taken measures to digitize their processes, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

DILG Undersecretary Epimaco V. Densing III said at an online briefing Thursday that only a small fraction of local governments have been digitizing some aspect of their operations, from registration processes to pandemic response.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority has been urging LGUs to digitize business permit registration and link their systems to its central business portal.

Mr. Densing said minimal human contact between government officials and the transacting public would also reduce corruption. More e-government would also help attract foreign investment, he added.

He noted that foreign investors can now “even register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or local government units (from) out of the country.”

Other than major urban areas like Metro Manila, Mr. Densing held up the example of Cauayan City, Isabela in adopting digital measures to the registration process.

“We’re developing a system where those who have already advanced their way of transacting with the public through digitizing their licensing and permitting systems be given some incentives and assistance from us,” he said.

The Philippines rose to 95th from 124th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 report, but remained one of the lowest-ranked in Southeast Asia. — Jenina P. Ibañez