COTABATO CITY – After gaining success from its pilot sites in Lanao del Sur, the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed Friday, March 4, the project document for Localizing e-Governance for Accelerated Provision of Services (LeAPS) which is expected to advance local governance and service delivery across the Bangsamoro region through digitalization.
First launched in the municipalities of Butig and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur in October 2020, LeAPS is a collaboration project between MILG and UNDP which aims to provide more effective and efficient way of delivering government services by utilizing digital technology.
It is geared towards transforming local governance in the region by significantly accelerating connectivity in communities and enabling citizens to capitalize on the benefits of digitalization and capacity-building through improved access to services and information, community enterprise development, and skills development.
“When it was still a project, its scope is very specific, and because we meet our target objectives from the two pilot sites, we are now expanding it to the whole region,” MILG Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo explained.
As the implementation starts in July this year, the program is seen as key driver to digitize services across all BARMM ministries while simplifying processes at local level.
Citing MILG as one of the ministries that will join the digital transformation journey, “issuance of a travel authority for local executives would soon be at the fingertips,” Sinarimbo said.
Meanwhile, UNDP Country Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran commended the regional government for adopting innovations.
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen the role of digitalization in our daily lives. Our initiatives now will not only help us during this time but will also prepare ourselves to deliver seamless services in the future,” Dr. Ramachandran said.
As stipulated on the financing agreement between UNDP and MILG, the latter placed at the disposal of former its contribution of P333-million for the cost-sharing funding of the program. As part of the agreement, P166-million worth of check was initially issued during Friday’s ceremony.
Sinarimbo clarified that “MILG’s agreement with UNDP is to manage the fund.”
“UNDP will cover the professional fees while we will take charge of equipment and other things. We are doing to hasten the program implementation, ” Sinarimbo further explained.
Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister Melanio Ulama and Transportation and Communication Deputy Minister Abunawas Maslamama, along with representatives from various ministries, were also present Friday. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)