The provincial government of Bataan in the Philippines plans to enact the Community-Based Monitory System Act (CBMS) with blockchain technology, Governor Joet Garcia said in an interview with The Daily Forkast

“Through data sharing agreements and as well as getting the consent of our citizens on which information can be shared, which information should be sent to the local government, which information can be used by the national government agency providing such services, blockchain can help here,” Garcia said.

Bataan is located southwest of central Luzon, the country’s biggest island. Last month, the provincial government announced it is making a big leap in digitization by tapping blockchain technology.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the national agency mandated to implement the law, CBMS is an organized technology-based system of collecting, processing and validating disaggregated data, that may be used for planning, program implementation, and impact monitoring at the local level while empowering communities to participate in the process.

To implement CBMS, the Bataan provincial government has signed a memorandum of agreement with global blockchain firm nChain.

“The right data collected at the right time can fuel the transformation of an organization. And imagine if this can be done in government,” Garcia said. “Just imagine the impact this will give citizens, our constituents.”

Eyeing tokenization

Bataan province is also planning to come up with asset-backed tokens for government projects.

“We also see how blockchain can help us in raising funds and allowing us to rapidly implement various projects,” Garcia said. “I’m talking about tokenization – how we can use the blockchain, how we can tokenize our assets. we want to come up with asset-backed tokens.”

Garcia added that tokenization in government projects can be attractive for the province’s potential investors and that it can be a template for other projects.

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The Philippine advantage

The Southeast Asian nation is no stranger to blockchain. At the height of the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s popularity in the middle of 2021, the Philippines accounted for some 40% of its players. 

Last year, the country’s central bank launched its wholesale central bank digital currency project.

The country also ranks second in the latest global crypto adoption index by blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis, with high scores on both centralized and decentralized metrics. 

“The Philippines is in a really unique and opportunistic position to be able to grab the technology, having learned from what everybody else has done or not done, and to deploy that technology for their own benefit, leapfrogging other countries in the process. But, also being able to leapfrog other countries in the creation of new development,” Stefan Matthews, chairman of nChain, said in an interview with The Daily Forkast. 

Matthews added that provincial governments in the Philippines intend to adopt blockchain and move quickly with developments. 

Public-private partnerships

One program of the Philippine government is the public-private partnership (PPP). It is one of the government’s solutions for accelerating infrastructure development and sustained economic growth.

Garcia and Matthews both believe that PPP is the way to go when tapping blockchain technology for government use in the country.

“We believe in blockchain technology, but I don’t think (the) government is the best entity to learn everything and to run it on its own. The private sector can do that better,” Garcia said.

“If you look at infrastructure projects that have been running in the Philippines for the last 25 years, that’s the case – roads, bridges, massive government infrastructure development projects that will be run as PPPs. And the same I expect will be the case with the deployment of design and deployment of major blockchain solutions in the country, particularly at government level,” Matthews added.

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