The government needs to eradicate lengthy queues in its offices and implement a fully online system to fast-track transactions especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

“Panahon na para mawala ang pila, para mapagsilbihan ng gobyerno nang walang kahirapan sa tao,” he said during his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Duterte said the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, signed in 2018, “has been gaining momentum” as of late.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced government agencies to implement strict rules on physical work and operations, prompting a shift to online transactions.

During his address, Duterte directed the Anti-Red Tape Authority, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Budget and Management to make possible all government services to be done online.

“We need to adjust and adopt a paperless type of business and work performance…. It will enable us a bureaucracy to better transition into the new normal and cut and minimize red tape,” he said.

Duterte also boasted that since the implementation of country-wide lockdowns earlier this year, processing of consular services, building and business permits and services for overseas Filipinos workers were streamlined, and validity of passports and driver’s licenses were lengthened. John Ezekiel J. Hirro