BARMM digitalization underway with second Digital Center in Butig, Lanao del Sur

June 14, 2023

[From L-R:] Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid Raki-in Adiong, UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrié, Butig Mayor Dimnatang Bangconolan L. Pansar, Vice Mayor Bin Khalifa L. Pansar, OIC MILG Provincial Director Cader Decampong Indar Jr., MILG Director Fausiah Romancap-Abdula. Butig town in Lanao del Sur becomes the second area to host a #DigitalBangsamoro Center.

Butig, Lanao del Sur – The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines unveiled the second #DigitalBangsamoro Center in the Bangsamoro region – marking another vital step towards improving citizens’ access to public services through digitalization.

The #DigitalBangsamoro Center, which features an interactive call center and a one-stop shop web portal for public services, is a one-stop shop where Bangsamoro citizens can easily access public information or transact through the provision of various frontline services like birth certificate registration, business permit application, and others.

In an effort to make public service delivery more effective, efficient, and accessible in Mindanao, the government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) forged a partnership with UNDP Philippines for the Localizing e-Governance for Accelerated Provision of Services (LeAPS) Program—a flagship program of the MILG, which will support the Office of the Chief Minister, all BARMM ministries, and several LGUs in using ICT solutions to simplify business processes, thus improving the quality and speed of local public services and making these more accessible to the Bangsamoro people. The program also targets to overcome the reliance on outdated, paper-based, and manual processes within and among the local government units in the region. 

The #DigitalBangsamoro Centers are currently being piloted in Piagapo and Butig in the province of Lanao del Sur, with the one in Butig being the second in the whole region. 

Butig Municipal Mayor Atty. Dimmatang BL Pansar expressed elation about the potential linkages that the digital center will bring to the small town of Butig. He said that: “This will be our bridge to the different agencies of the government, even private, not only in the Philippines but outside the country. We can use this facility provided by MILG in partnership with UNDP to fast-track the delivery of basic services to the people of Butig.

The Municipality of Butig is in a remote area in the Bangsamoro region and receives weak network signal and fluctuating electricity, making it difficult to deliver digitalized frontline services. The digital center, powered by a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and a dedicated generator, will accelerate the delivery of frontline services to the residents of Butig and improve their experience in making public service transactions. As an initial offering, the center will offer the processing of business permit applications and requests for certificates of live birth. 

During the launch in Butig, MILG Director Fausiah K. Romancap-Abdula, who represented Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, noted that “the goal of this program is to provide citizen-centric services that will enable the access of constituents to the services delivered by the government. The Bangsamoro Regional Government, through the MILG, is continuously taking initiatives that will prepare you to steer your town to greater heights of peace and development.”

Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid Raki-in Adiong, who graced the event on behalf of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Government, extended his gratitude to the MILG and UNDP Philippines for their efforts in bridging the digital gap in Lanao del Sur. “Thank you for giving us [this] opportunity. I hope that #DigitalBangsamoro Centers can be established all over the province of Lanao del Sur,” he stated.

Through LeAPS, the Bangsamoro region has achieved significant strides in accelerating connectivity in local communities and enabling citizens to capitalize on the benefits of digitalization and capacity-building,UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Mr. Edwine Carrié remarked, underscoring UNDP’s commitment to the #DigitalBangsamoro vision.

In 2022, MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo and UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the expanded roll-out of the LeAPS program, which is set to pave the way for the 5-Year Digital Transformation Roadmap of BARMM after 2023, covering all the 116 municipalities, 2 cities, and all the barangays in BARMM.