To attract more investors, encourage new businesses, and promote economic growth, the Davao City Government is gearing towards digitalization of all its transactions.
The city government, in partnership with the Aboitiz Business Unit, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for Project Bilis Davao on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
Project Bilis Davao is a digitalization project which aims to provide ease of doing business with the city government.
Present during the MOA signing are Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte; Anton Perdices, Senior Vice President and COO for Aboitiz Power Distribution Unit; and Engr. Rodger S. Velasco, President and COO for Davao Light and Power Company.
Duterte said the project serves as a significant platform to sustain the demand and inevitable increased usage of online services, especially with Davao City’s growing economy. He also said that these online transactions and payment systems should provide convenience for everyone rather than spending time in long queues caused by manual systems.
The digitalization project will cover Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS), paying real property taxes, building permits, and online payment system of the City Government.
“Upon implementation, we are optimistic Project Bilis will encourage further innovation in the field of public service and effectively serve the best interests of the Dabawenyos, tourists, and investors,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Perdices said the project was a product of a simple discussion between Aboitiz and the Davao local government unit (LGU).
“It’s something like a discussion of our frustration both from Aboitiz and the City (Government) about the long queues, about connection, about delays in permitting, and the frustrations of the lack of opportunity to work in the working team, so what about doing this one (Project Bilis project), and fix this issues,” Perdices said.
Perdices also said that they are targeting to finish the project by the end of 2023, however this might change depending on their technical working group.
“We target to finish this within the year, we’re being very flexible with the schedule because unknown to us yet are some of the specifications and the terms of reference,” said Perdices.
In a separate interview, City councilor Bonz Andre Militar, the Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, said Project Bilis project is just the beginning of the city going digital with its transactions before it will become a full online transaction.
“This is just the first phase sa atuang digitalization, naa pa ta’y mga laing agency na pwede nilang icater pod for atong digitalization (This is just the first phase of our digitalization project, we are considering other agencies that they may cater for our digitalization),” Militar said.
He also said the project should serve as an answer to Dabawenyos’ woes on government transactions, as he has been receiving complaints and seeing Facebook posts on issues with manual transactions.
“May mga problem talaga sila (ang mga Dabawenyo) sa mga processes, in which lahat kailangan pa talaga pumunta iyong mga tao sa kada agency ta’s ‘yung mga agency natin lagyo ba (Some experienced problems with the current process because they have to jump from one agency to another and these agencies are not near with one another), in which we’re doing this transaction and after a finished transaction, muadto na pod sa kabila (they have to travel to the next office),” Militar said.
“However, for Phase 2 [and other phases of digitalization projects] we can’t discuss it yet,” he added. ICE