Pursuant to the mandate of Republic Act No. 8792 Section 34,
otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act, the Philippine Government now
recognizes the vital role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in
nation building - that is, the necessity to create an information-friendly environment
which supports and ensures the availability, diversity and affordability of ICT products
and services. It features the government allowing equal and transparent access to
public domain information in the interest of public service.
Also, Section 3 of the said Act states, "government intervention,
when required shall promote a stable legal environment allowing a fair allocation
of scarce resources and protect public interest. Such intervention shall be no
more than is essential and should be clear, transparent, objective, and non-discriminatory.
Proportional, flexible, and technological neutral. Mechanisms for private sector input
and involvement in policy making shall be promoted and widely used."
Consequently, the private sector is expected to contribute
investments and services in ICR by primarily developing, with appropriate
training programs and institutional policy changes, human resources competent
in the use of ICT. This includes the capacity to operate and utilize electronic
appliances and computers; promotion and transfer of technology; ensure network
security, connectivity and neutrality of technology; and to marshal, organize and
deploy national information infrastructures in both communications network and
strategic information services, with the necessary and appropriate legal, financial,
diplomatic and technical framework, systems and facilities.
As provided in Section 4 of the Act, E-Governance will operate
in this manner-that any dealings, transactions, arrangements, contracts and
exchanges and storage of information through the utilization of electronic, optical
and similar medium mode, instrumentality and technology to recognize the authenticity
and reliability of electronic documents related to such activities and to promote the
universal use of electronic transactions in the government and by the general public
would be the program's main focus. Some forms of its application are online public
information and cultural resources, databases for health services, government agencies'
websites at local, regional and national levels, and online public libraries and
In this regard, the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG), together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),
the National Computer Center (NCC) and the Development Academy of the Philippines
(DAP) and other government and academic institutions, is putting effort to set up
and implement the provisions of the E-Commerce Act to Local Government Units (LGUs)
throughout the country, especially those in far-flung areas, via the convergence
of public and private sector's ICT in providing and disseminating vital public
information to their constituents in a faster and more convenient way, which
is dubbed as the E-Governance Program for LGUs.