The very first time I heard of the words “digital government” was only 2 weeks ago. Upon hearing it, my very first thought was about a government entirely run and reliant on the digital age (computers, internet, etc.). My second thought was that would never happen in the Philippines or if it did, I wouldn’t be alive to see it.
While in class, I was writing down topics for my next blog and decided to research on what digital government really means.
According to one definition, digital government or “e-government” is a “government model which utilizes information technology in exchange of information, services and goods between citizens and commercial institutions in order to increase performance and efficiency.” (Türkiye Bilişim Derneği (2002), a.g.e, p.22) It is in effect the digitalization of data and communication from government to government, from government to citizen, from government to business and any other variation. According to www.digital-government.net, the main components of e-government are e-firm, e-institution and e-citizen. “Each of these components will work together to realize the “e” within themselves and they will develop in interaction, so e-government will develop eventually.”
I thought that digital government meant that our state institutions would transform only itself and enter into the digitalization of data and communication – a sort-of “virtual state” – an end goal. I never thought of digital government as a process in itself wherein different components of society (government (institution), business and citizen) would develop in interaction so that e-government would eventually develop. In order to make fundamental changes, these three major components of society have to realize their mutual duties and responsibilities as people who are governed and govern in a world of digitalization (digital space).
In order for there to be effective “digital government”, not only must our government strive to realize the “e” in e-government, but business and citizen have to develop the “e” themselves. Thus, our government should not only focus on transforming themselves digitally but should also ensure that the common citizen has access to the most basic information and education as the Philippines slowly moves towards digital government.