Should he win the presidential election in 2022, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson will prioritize digitalization for the Philippines to recover from the effects of the pandemic - and to mitigate the impact of similar crises in the future.
Lacson said the first step will be the full implementation of the National Broadband Program that will be the basis of a secure and reliable information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure system.
"My presidency promises the complete investment and implementation of our National Broadband Program to improve the internet speed and affordability all over our country," he said at the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 47th Philippine Business Conference and Expo.
"This will be critical to connect, unify and automate all our government processes for efficient business transactions, increased revenue collections, and eradication of corruption in all levels of our bureaucracy. I am sure that our digital reforms will not only bridge our digital divide but will also boost our competitive edge as a country of great potential in the digital world," he added.
Lacson showed his persistence and intense conviction to digital transformation when - as the principal sponsor of the budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, he defended in the plenary the P18-billion investment in the National Broadband Program as the former principal sponsor of the DICT's budget.
Also, Lacson said he will fast-track the roll-out and full implementation of the National ID System which he authored and sponsored after persistently pushing for its passage into law as far back as 1999, when he was still Chief of the Philippine National Police.
He vowed as well to provide a historic increase of budget infusion for research and development efforts, which now take up a "ridiculously pitiful" share of the national budget at 0.4 percent.