e-Participation in the Philippines
With the emerging trends in the field of governance, public policy, and information and communications technology (ICT), e-Participation has been a unifying thread in upgrading public service delivery among many developing countries such as the Philippines. The United Nations (UN) defines e-Participation as the process of engaging citizens through ICTs to make governance participatory, inclusive, and deliberative. This led to making more initiatives for citizens and businesses to collaborate by contributing ideas and providing feedback. Its three tenets namely e-Information, e-Consultation, and e-Decision-making prove to be a significant tool in strengthening and deepening citizen engagement while determining a country’s e-Participation index – a qualitative and comparative evaluation used by the UN to measure governments’ efforts on participative policy-making across its member countries.
In the Philippines, through the signing of the Republic Act 11032 s. 2018 otherwise known as the Ease of Doing Business Act, the establishment of the E-Government Master Plan 2022 and the creation of the www.gov.ph, e-Participation has been intensified translating to better services to all concerned with the availability of archived information and open datasets. Its national portal aims to be a single platform for all online information and operational infrastructures, and public services of the government. In continuing to promote e-Participation, the government’s commitment to eliminate long queues for services, paper trail, bureaucracy and red tape is a possibility. A higher e-Participation would also mean higher civic engagement yielding more people-centered programs and projects which are more holistic and inclusive.