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4:01 pm on 27 January 2023, Friday
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is seeking to digitalize government transactions, particularly at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), to curb rampant smuggling in the country.
In an interview, the President noted that it might be helpful to look into successful approaches being employed by several countries, and apply them to the Philippines.
He earlier said that the digitalization of the BOC is “going to be an important, important part of that,” as he called for drastic bureaucratic reforms to fight smuggling, which he said threatens local industries and affects government tax collection.
One of the recommendations earlier raised was opening up the database to the BOC and to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure the efficient sharing of information.
The DA and BOC have a data-sharing agreement (DSA) that seeks to facilitate the exchange of information on traded agricultural products.Through the program, each agency can promptly share and act upon critical and intelligence information.
In various international fora, Marcos highlighted the importance of digitalization, particularly as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and as the administration pushes its development agenda.
The government, Marcos said, also recognizes the importance of digitalization as a key driver for long-term development and for the economic transformation of the post-pandemic global economy.
The President has also put a premium on the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the administration’s digitalization efforts.
He said that his administration is on track to empower and enable MSMEs to participate in the digital economy and narrow the digital divide.