Expanding access and speed: Government boosts digitalization budget by 61%

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) revealed a substantial boost in the proposed budget for digitalization initiatives in the coming year.

According to the DBM, the allocation for digitalization in 2024 has been set at P38.75 billion, a 60.6 percent increase from the P24.93 billion funding allocated in 2023.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman emphasized the importance of this investment.

“Technological advancement has given rise to a growing digital economy which continues to create new forms of work, transforming the employment landscape. Hence, investing in the digitalization of the bureaucracy is crucial not only in enhancing its efficiency but also in generating quality jobs for Filipinos,” she said.

The lion’s share of the ICT and digitalization budget is set to be distributed among 10 key government agencies.

The breakdown includes the Department of Education receiving P9.43 billion, the Department of Justice with P5.55 billion, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) securing P5.34 billion.

Additionally, the Department of Finance will be allocated P3.15 billion, the Department of Interior and Local Government P2.6 billion, and the National Economic and Development Authority P2.08 billion.

Other recipients include The Judiciary with P1.44 billion, the Department of National Defense with P1.12 billion, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with P913 million, and other executive offices with P890 million in funding.

Further allocations within the budget include P990.63 million for the ICT systems and infostructure development, management, and advisory program of the DICT.

Additionally, the National Government Data Center Infrastructure Program, earmarked for P1.67 billion, aims to reduce government spending by providing resources to government agencies through colocation or cloud services.

The DICT’s National Government Portal, with a budget allocation of P302.86 million, is intended to streamline public service by connecting all government departments to a single website.

Another key program under the DICT’s purview, the National Broadband Plan, is set to receive a budget of P1.5 billion. This funding will be used to enhance internet speed and promote affordability across the country.

Furthermore, a separate allocation of P2.5 billion will fund the Free Wi-Fi Connectivity in Public Places and State Universities and Colleges program.

The program aims to establish 50 broadband sites in 82 provinces, expanding access to free Wi-Fi connectivity for the public.