LGUs can start their e-commerce and e-government
implementation by simply making available on the Web all information
intended for their publics and constituent. This set of web
information could include data about the city or municipality's
history and traditions, its vision/mission, its officers and policy
of administrations, and its plans and programs of governance.
The LGU website does not have to have "everything on
it" when it launches. The more important thing is that the website
is started and is made to grow in content on a regular (weekly or monthly)
and continuing basis.
The LGU website can eventually include current and past
council resolutions, promulgation's, laws and pronouncements relevant to
improving the lifestyle and livelihood of its constituents. It can also
contain all information that its leaders will soon find worth making
available, to its intended audience, swiftly and safely on the web.
The LGU website will definitely allow easy and more
convenient access to LGU information thereby saving the time of the
public from going to and queuing in the municipal hall and also the
time of public officials from attending to its constituents just to
provide the "usual" information or data. This leaves the LGU staff
or executive more time to attend to the more important matters of LGU
Furthermore, the LGU minimizes on the cost of printing
and storing voluminous informational materials which could be outdated
or made obsolete due to changing LGU policies and administrative sanctions.
Interacting from static, information only website, the
LGU can step up to a more participatory form of e-commerce and e-governance
on the web: one that allows an interchange of information between citizen and
the LGU official. With more of the public made aware of and becoming proficient
in the use of PCs and the Internet, it will be to the LGUs advantage to be able
to handle queries and the usual office communication on the web. Through its
website, the LGU may allow inquiries through built-in emails and chat functions,
something that could be made once the LGU staff have become familiar with and
trained in using e-mails and the other Internet and ICT facilities made available
to the LGUs.
This neutral extension and use of the Web for interacting and
exchanging communications is the natural growth path to full e-commerce and
e-governance for the LGUs. At this interaction stage, LGUs can work closely
with their constituents and strive to better engage their active participation
in the government process.
E-government has the potential to help administrations achieve
their objectives in this field by reaching out to citizens throughout the
political cycles and through all levels of government. Importantly, strengthening
contributes to building public trust in government.
Transacting at this stage, the LGU is able to process and
transact its business with its public through the efficient and effective
use of ICT in general and the Internet and the Web in particular. Under the
E-commerce law, the LGU is expected to "Transact the government business
and/or perform governmental functions using electronic data messages or
electronic documents." In order to transact its business, the LGU must have
the capacity not only to broadcast or publish data and information to its
constituents and publics on the Web, but also the ability to process inquiries,
compute corresponding dues, record payments, and issue permits and licenses
accordingly using electronic documents and electronic messages.
The LGU would have by this stage graduated from a mere
provider of E-commerce information to a central player and participant in
the process of e-governance. As the private sector in the country begins
to make use of the Internet to offer e-commerce services, government will
be expected to keep up with technological leaders. In addition, the long
term cost savings, accountability through information logs and productivity
improvements will be important drivers for a healthier economic and political
climate for all concerned.