[Pasay, September 5] – Twala, a DOST-backed digital signature and digital identity startup, e-signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Senate of the Philippines to help its digitalization efforts. This is the first time the Senate has entered into such an agreement with a Filipino innovative tech-startup.
The MOU, signed by Senate Secretary Atty. Renato Bantug Jr., and Twala’s CEO Engr. Jeffrey Reyes, aims to help the Senate's internal processes through migrating their paper-based processes online, thereby enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and elevating security in its operations.
Twala is an all-Filipino tech startup that helps organizations – both government and private – to automate their paper-based workflows and processes with its document intelligence platform and trust services.
The MOU with the Senate pursues Twala’s mission to help unlock billions of pesos tied to inefficient paper-based processes. Last April 12, Twala likewise collaborated with the SupremeCourt to provide inputs in their ongoing work to draft rules to allow electronic notarization in the country. Last August 25, Twala e-signed a PhP 2 million, 2-year agreement with the NationalConfederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) to modernize its operations and improve member services using its innovative digital solutions. On September 2, it also partnered with the(OSHDP), a group of about 200 real estate developers in the country to help digitize thePhilippine housing sector.
Under Commission on Audit Circular 2021-006, or the "Guidelines on the Use of ElectronicDocuments, Electronic Signatures, and Digital Signatures in Government Transaction,” a government agency may use electronic signatures, secure electronic signatures, digital signatures or a combination, in securing their electronic documents.
The collaboration seeks to capitalize on Twala's robust technology and expertise to “digitalizethe Senate's internal processes, to save on personnel time and cost to the public, help reduceits carbon footprint, and make these processes more efficient, secure, and client-friendly.”Leading this effort from the Senate are the Electronic Data Processing and ManagementInformation System (EDP-MIS) Bureau and Human Resources Management Service (HRMS).
The MOU commits the parties to “(a) jointly assess the scope and determine the internal process that should be prioritized for digitization, (b) jointly discuss and agree on a pilot implementation program and schedule, and (c) come up with an assessment for future digitalization efforts.”
Director Mario Antonio Sulit, Service Chief of the EDP-MIS, enthused over the collaboration:"The Senate of the Philippines supports Filipino tech startups in line with the Innovative StartupAct. We are excited to collaborate with Twala, an exemplar of innovation that can helpmodernize our processes in government and better serve both the public and the environment."
Director Christian Borja, Assistant Service Chief of the HRMS, added: "We are excited to see this partnership through and help bring in more efficient and employee-centered HR processes in the Senate."
In a September 5 interview with ANC’s Business Outlook, Atty. Third Bagro, co-founder andGeneral Counsel of Twala zeroed in on the importance of digital signatures. “Everything we doin government ends up in some document that needs to be signed or notarized. If we are able to digitalize this final product in a secure and cost-effective way, the rest of the steps will easily follow.”
“If we were able to leap frog in the financial sector from no smartphones to everyone having digital wallets suddenly, because of the pandemic, there should be no reason not to be able to sign documents also using our smartphones,” he added. # # #