THE BANGSAMORO regional government has signed a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the region-wide expansion of a project aimed at accelerating the use of information technology to speed up and improve public services.  

The project called Localizing e-Governance for Accelerated Provision of Services (LeAPS) Program was piloted last year in two towns, Butig and Piagapo.  

Under the partnership between UNDP and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the LeAPS Program will be expanded to at least 29 additional municipalities and ministries of the regional government over the next two years.  

“The Bangsamoro Region has been delayed in terms of development gains,” Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, which is spearheading the LeAPS Program, said in a press release from the UNDP on Thursday. 

“It is therefore important that we move fast in terms of development so we can catch up not just with the rest of the country, but potentially with the rest of the world,” he said.  

UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran, for his part, underscored the importance of digital technology in improving governance.   

“We are here to turn the vision of #DigitalBangsamoro into reality,” Mr. Ramachandran said.  

“As the country starts to open gradually, businesses will have to continue. Here, digitalization plays a particularly significant role in the provision of critical public services to make sure that we leave no one behind,” he said.  

LeAPS is intended to pave the way for the 5-Year Digital Transformation Roadmap of BARMM after 2023, covering all the 116 municipalities, two cities, and all the barangays in the region. — MSJ