THE House of Representatives (HOR) is taking the lead in passing legislation that will ensure that the country’s adoption of digital technologies is responsive, inclusive, and forward-thinking as the House has long recognized the power of digitalization to transform the nation.
This was stressed by Quezon City First District Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde, who at the 31st Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) Roundtable of Young Parliamentarians said that the HOR hopes “to utilize digital technologies to promote interconnectivity, broaden our reach, and improve our responsiveness to our people’s needs.”
According to Atayde, aside from passing Republic Act No. 10844 creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the House has recently passed House Bill No. (HB) 7327 or the E-Governance Act “to harmonize and coordinate the digitalization efforts of all government offices and agencies.”
Atayde, one of the principal authors of the measure, added that the House has also passed HB 6 or the Open Access in Data Transmission Act to address concerns that digitalization “risks widening educational, socio-economic, and urban-rural inequalities.”
“The proposed legislation,” explained the young lawmaker, “lays the groundwork for a data transmission industry that is open, fair, and interoperable.”
“It is my belief that stimulating private sector involvement is key to ensuring our country’s digital transformation is as inclusive as possible.”
The legislator also pointed out that the House acknowledges the need to balance digital innovation with security, and cognizant of its potential dangers passed the Data Privacy Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, and the SIM Registration Act.
Established in 1993, the APPF promotes multilateralism and parliamentary dialogue. The theme this year is “Resilient Partnerships for Peace, Prosperity and Sustainability.”
In a speech delivered by House Speaker Martin Romualdez on behalf of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the President expressed hope that Forum participants would utilize the platform as a venue to discuss issues such as digital innovation, regional security, transnational crime, free and fair trade, and sustainable and equal economic growth.