MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte instructed government agencies on Monday to fully transition services online to do away with the need for the public to have physical transactions while the COVID-19 threat remains.
In his 5th State of the Nation Address, Duterte said there shall be no more queuing at government agencies, saying it should "lead the way in the transition to online systems."
"All government instrumentalities should make physical queue a thing of the past," said Duterte, whose administration is facing the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
The highly contagious disease has prompted government to enforce strict rules against mass gatherings and limit business operations, while state agencies adjusted to increased online use, from schools to the legislative branches.
"Panahon na para mawala na ang pila para mapagsilbihan ng gobyerno nang walang kahirapan para sa mga tao," he said at his penultimate address, the first held with limited attendance as many dignitaries instead participated via video conferencing.
(It is time that lines disappear so government can serve the people without giving them a hard time.)
He directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Anti-Red Tape Authority to "make full possible services available online."
"We need to adjust and adopt a paperless type of business and work performance," Duterte said.
"We need e-governance, [providing] our people with the services they need in the comfort of their homes and workplaces. It will enable us a bureaucracy to better transition into the new normal and minimize red tape," said Duterte.
Since the start of his administration, Duterte has advocated for streamlined government services. He has also pushed for lengthening the validity of basic documents such as driver's licenses and passports.