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New database seen to lead to more investments

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A cloud-based database hosted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Central Visayas regional office is expected to bring in more investments to the region.

The Regional Statistics Committee (RSC) Databank will promote transparency and allow agencies, and eventually the public, to immediately access government data, saving time and effort needed for manual requests.

NEDA 7 regional director Efren B. Carreon said they hoped to fully operationalize this before the end of 2021.

Initially, he said access to the databank will be limited to the government agencies which will also input their data. In the long term, this will be made available to the public for viewing purposes.

“I think one of the best advantages that we, government agencies, would realize later is that (manual) requests for data from each of us (agencies) would be lessened,” Carreon said during the signing Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the implementation of the databank.

“So we become more transparent. The data would be submitted and shared online in a very timely manner and access by the general public would be more efficient. And we hope that this would eventually result in more possible investments in the region because data can easily be generated and shared,” he added.

Representatives of at least six government agencies signed the agreement to contribute to the databank.

Carreon said the database would also be vital to the implementation of the Mandanas ruling in 2022.

“One of the best positive implications of this (database) is the upcoming implementation of the Mandanas ruling, wherein a lot of government programs will be devolved to the local government units (LGUs),” Carreon said.

The Supreme Court’s SC Mandanas-Garcia ruling, which the World Bank sees as a key to strengthening decentralization and improving social delivery services in the Philippines, increases the LGUs’ internal revenue allotment (IRA) shares by 55% in the 2022 budget.

Total IRA shares, which would be based on all national taxes, are expected to reach P1.08 trillion, or 4.8% of the country’s gross domestic product compared to 3.5% of GDP in 2021.

To lessen the fiscal impact of transferring more financial resources to LGUs, the national government has started to identify spending responsibilities for select devolved mandates to be transferred back to local government.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed in June 2021 Executive Order 138, identifying certain functions of the Executive branch that must be fully devolved to LGUs.

Carreon said the databank will include data from regional government line agencies as opposed to the e-factbook being developed by the Department of Trade and Industry, which will collate data from LGUs.

By next year, Carreon said these two data sets would be combined. (Ventures Cebu)

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