The Manila Times : New DICT chief gets marching orders

By Francis Earl Cueto | The Manila Times

INFORMATION and Communications secretary-designate Ivan John Uy said that among President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s orders is the immediate digitalization of transactions in the Philippines, particularly with the government, and to increase internet speeds and make it more accessible especially in far-flung areas.

"President-elect Bongbong Marcos has very clear marching orders," Uy said at the Laging Handa Public Briefing.

He said that by digitalizing transactions, it would not only make it faster, but it can increase government revenue and do away with red tape.

"Technology will be one of the crucial factors to improve revenue generation. We all know that by the manual system, public funds are being wasted. So, with automation, with minimal human intervention, we expect that the funds or expected income will not be lost due to corruption," he said.

Uy echoed incoming Finance secretary Benjamin Diokno, who is not in favor of additional taxes.

"Instead of increasing taxes, let us generate other means for government revenue," he said.

Meanwhile, Uy said that the president-elect likewise wants the entire country to be connected to the internet.

"He instructed me to look into how to give digital connectivity to areas across the archipelago who are still not reached by the internet," he added.

Uy likewise gave importance to billionaire Elon Musk's high-speed satellite internet venture Starlink that is set to enter the Philippines.

Starlink, reports said, offers high-speed, low-latency satellite internet service with download speeds between 100 and 200 megabits per second.

It recently got the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission.

"Hopefully, the satellite receivers will be deployed soon in various parts of the country, especially those islands which have few populations and are not reached by traditional service providers," said Uy, reacting to the news. "The sooner, the better."

He also said that they will work on improving the digital infrastructure of the Philippines as they want it to be felt for the coming years even after the term of Marcos ends.

"In accordance with the campaign promises of President-elect Bongbong Marcos, we will work hard so you can see the improvements in the coming months or years," Uy added.