Digitalization must not be costly to the people — Recto

March 5, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 130 views

DEPUTY Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto reminded the government that “digitalization” of transactions should not only lead in “ease in doing business” but must also be “easy on the pocket. “

Recto issued this statement as the national government sets P48 billion targets in fees and charges income on digitalization of government transactions this year.

“Online processing should not cause the uptick of fees, because the benefit that IT-based services bring should not be cancelled by its cost,” he said.

In pricing online services, such as the processing of documents, government agencies should follow the established rule “that in setting fees and charges, the intention is to recoup the cost of extending that service, plus a reasonable surcharge, not to profit from it.”

He warned that an “IT boom in the bureaucracy should not lead to permit and licenses cost inflation.”

To keep state fees and charges in check, Recto urged the Palace to create a body that will regularly evaluate the rates,.

“Kung masyadong mahal o sobrang baba naman na lugi na ang pamahalaan. If digitalization cuts costs, then the savings must be passed on to the citizen. I.T. is not a profit center, but a client-service tool,” Recto said.

“Kung ang dating papel na dokumento na manually prinocess ay, sabihin natin, P200, at sinabing mura na ito dahil sa computerization, eh di dapat bawasan ang singil nito,” Recto added..

Recto said the national government targets to collect P48.8 billion

This, he explained, is the tip of the iceberg as local governments are projected to rake in P321.5 billion from local sources this year, with business tax accounting for P129.2 billion, and regulatory fees adding P27.6 billion.

“In principle, local governments should be supported in their drive to reduce dependency on national government funding downloads,” he said.