THE E-Governance Bill is seen to enhance the ease of doing business through digitalization, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

“Once enacted, the bill is expected to enhance the ease of doing business in the country and improve public trust in the government. As business leaders, I hope that you will lead the charge in ushering digital transformation initiatives in your respective fields and industries,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc.’s (FFCCCII) 33rd Biennial Convention in the capital.

The House of Representatives earlier approved on third and final reading this priority bill that institutionalizes the government’s shift to E-Governance.

Diokno said businesses will play a crucial role in this shift.

The FFCCCII brings together chambers of commerce and trade associations from all over the Philippines to promote business growth and improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The federation has been a development partner of the government since 1954.

“For almost seven decades, the federation has consistently devoted itself to promoting cooperation and co-prosperity between Filipino and Chinese businesses,” Diokno said.

To strengthen inter-sectoral linkages, the government will harness the public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism to help the public sector finance massive infrastructure programs through mutually beneficial agreements with private proponents.

PPPs can be undertaken through various modes, such as the Build-Operate-Transfer or BOT Law. Its recently revised Implementing Rules and Regulations addressed stakeholder concerns on the financial viability and bankability of PPP projects, potential delays, rigid processes and ambiguous provisions.

Meanwhile, the PPP Act was approved by the House of Representatives on third reading in December 2022 and is now pending in the Senate.

On March 9, the National Economic and Development Authority Board approved 194 high-impact Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs), with a combined value of P9 trillion. About 45 of the IFPs are financed through PPPs.

Diokno shared that the Philippines is now part of the largest trade agreement in the world, along with China. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement creates a free trade zone covering 30 percent of the world’s population, 29 percent of global gross domestic product, 29 percent of global trade and 33 percent of global inward investments in 2020.

Since RCEP promotes the growth and development of MSMEs which make up 99 percent of businesses in the Philippines, the finance chief looks forward to more opportunities with the Filipino-Chinese business community. (CSL with PR)