The Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project is an essential element in the implementation of the e-Government Master Plan of 2013-2016, which aims to improve processes in government to provide better services to both citizens and businesses, as well as promote public participation.
The 470-million-peso iGovPhil Project, launched on 28 June 2012, is one of the latest projects that seek to achieve a higher level of e-governance or the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to rationalize government operations and improve the delivery of goods and services to the people.
The iGovPhil follows previous e-government efforts that began with the creation of the National Computer Center in 1971 through Executive Order 322. A more recent attempt was the establishment of the e-Government Fund through the General Appropriations Act of 2003 with a budget of Php 1 billion annually. These attempts, however, fell short of expectations. A more serious undertaking was initiated in 2000 with the Government Information System Plan or GISP, which adopted the slogan “Philippine government online.” But this, too, suffered some setbacks because of the big gap between policy making and implementation.
A United Nations survey shows the Philippines dropping from 78th rank in 2010 to 88th in 2012 in terms of e-government development. The country has been continously sliding in the last 10 years, according to previous UN reports. The three-year e-Government Master Plan wants to address this through different projects with ICT components. There are 19 departments in the Philippine government and each has an independent ICT center. The plan now is to link all of them under a “center of excellence” to eliminate duplication of tasks and direct their activities toward building an e-government system. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), with the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), is in the position to lead the development of such system.
A five-year Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS) was launched in 2011 to employ ICT in the campaign to attain the government agenda and objectives contained in the “social contract” with the people and the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016.
The goals of iGovPhil Project are aligned with the vision of PDS of “a digitally empowered, innovative, globally competitive and prosperous society where everyone has reliable, affordable and secure information access in the Philippines.” The goals include providing transparency, online public service, and preparing the country’s economy and society to new challenges posed by global digital economy and knowledge societies.
The iGovPhil Project, which is being managed by the DOST-ICTO and DOST-ASTI, is tasked to provide the necessary infrastructure and software needed for e-governance. The infrastructure includes the creation of data centers and layout of fiber optic networks to interconnect government offices and provide high-speed communication and sharing of tasks and data. Software includes online tools, services and applications for use by government agencies and citizens.
The implementation of the iGovPhil Project is based on Executive Order 47, which states the need for an information and communications technology infrastructure that will ensure the delivery of speedy and efficient government services to the people. This aims to make the government more efficient, transparent and accountable.
The primary purpose of the project is to use and maximize the benefits from already developed applications, to install and operate secure government email system; and to develop and to deploy common applications and shared services.
For more information visit the iGov website.