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3 Stage Approach to E-Governance

    LGUs can start their e-commerce and e-government implementation by simply making available on the Web all information intended for their publics and constituent. This set of web information could include data about the city or municipality's history and traditions, its vision/mission, its officers and policy of administrations, and its plans and programs of governance.

    The LGU website does not have to have "everything on it" when it launches. The more important thing is that the website is started and is made to grow in content on a regular (weekly or monthly) and continuing basis.

    The LGU website can eventually include current and past council resolutions, promulgation's, laws and pronouncements relevant to improving the lifestyle and livelihood of its constituents. It can also contain all information that its leaders will soon find worth making available, to its intended audience, swiftly and safely on the web.

    The LGU website will definitely allow easy and more convenient access to LGU information thereby saving the time of the public from going to and queuing in the municipal hall and also the time of public officials from attending to its constituents just to provide the "usual" information or data. This leaves the LGU staff or executive more time to attend to the more important matters of LGU governance.

    Furthermore, the LGU minimizes on the cost of printing and storing voluminous informational materials which could be outdated or made obsolete due to changing LGU policies and administrative sanctions.



    Interacting from static, information only website, the LGU can step up to a more participatory form of e-commerce and e-governance on the web: one that allows an interchange of information between citizen and the LGU official. With more of the public made aware of and becoming proficient in the use of PCs and the Internet, it will be to the LGUs advantage to be able to handle queries and the usual office communication on the web. Through its website, the LGU may allow inquiries through built-in emails and chat functions, something that could be made once the LGU staff have become familiar with and trained in using e-mails and the other Internet and ICT facilities made available to the LGUs.

    This neutral extension and use of the Web for interacting and exchanging communications is the natural growth path to full e-commerce and e-governance for the LGUs. At this interaction stage, LGUs can work closely with their constituents and strive to better engage their active participation in the government process.

    E-government has the potential to help administrations achieve their objectives in this field by reaching out to citizens throughout the political cycles and through all levels of government. Importantly, strengthening contributes to building public trust in government.



    Transacting at this stage, the LGU is able to process and transact its business with its public through the efficient and effective use of ICT in general and the Internet and the Web in particular. Under the E-commerce law, the LGU is expected to "Transact the government business and/or perform governmental functions using electronic data messages or electronic documents." In order to transact its business, the LGU must have the capacity not only to broadcast or publish data and information to its constituents and publics on the Web, but also the ability to process inquiries, compute corresponding dues, record payments, and issue permits and licenses accordingly using electronic documents and electronic messages.

    The LGU would have by this stage graduated from a mere provider of E-commerce information to a central player and participant in the process of e-governance. As the private sector in the country begins to make use of the Internet to offer e-commerce services, government will be expected to keep up with technological leaders. In addition, the long term cost savings, accountability through information logs and productivity improvements will be important drivers for a healthier economic and political climate for all concerned.



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