Passage of bill on digital workforce lauded
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go hailed the enactment of a measure which seeks to promote the development of the country’s digital workforce by providing Filipinos with better digital skills. Republic Act 11927, or the “Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act,” which was principally authored by Sen. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva and co-authored by Go, seeks to guarantee that the workforce benefits from the job prospects created by digital technologies. “We want to provide our countrymen with the necessary skill and expertise so they can be part of the digital workforce of the country,” said Go. “Because of this, there will be more opportunities and jobs for them and it will be easier for our economy to recover from the effect of the pandemic,” he added. Under the law, the Inter-Agency Council for Development and Competitiveness of Philippine Digital Workforce shall be created to plan, coordinate, and implement policies promoting, developing and enhancing the competitiveness of the Philippines’ digital workforce. The council shall be headed by the National Economic and Development Authority. Meanwhile, its members shall be composed of the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Science and Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Local government units will also be strengthened as they could implement local policies that develop digital technology, digital careers and innovations in their respective areas. In the creation and execution of training, skill development and certification programs, Go said the new law will enable public-private partnerships with specialists, private firms, information technology-business process outsourcing industry associations, and other stakeholders. He has early on emphasized the need for the country to transition to the digital age by utilizing new technologies and incorporating them into public governance. Citing lessons from the pandemic, the senator refiled Senate Bill 194, or the “E-Governance Act of 2022,” as one of his top 20 priority measures in the 19th Congress to make the government more responsive to the changing times. He noted that at the height of the pandemic, the public was burdened by long lines and inconvenient appointments with government offices, financial institutions and other public offices. The proposed measure mandates the government to establish an integrated, interconnected, and interoperable information and resource-sharing and communications network spanning the entirety of the national and local government, an internal records management information system, an information database, and digital portals for the delivery of public services. The measure likewise digitizes paper-based and other traditional modes of workflows for a more efficient and transparent public service. Go reiterated that Filipinos must feel that the government is accessible to them, bringing important government services closer to the people, thereby improving national resilience and adaptability.