The Japanese-funded computerisation and data integration of the Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) and attached agencies will help increase revenue and manage workflows, the ministry’s head of IT has said.
In an interview with FutureGov Asia Pacific about the ongoing programme, DOF Chief IT Manager, Claricel Yuvienco, said it was moving ahead on schedule with the first phase due to be completed in June 2011
“Phase 1 involved a document managing system to manage the flow of
our incoming and outgoing documents, so we could have effective
exchanges of information with attached bureaus, in particular the Bureau
of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Treasury,” she said.
“But in order to proceed with the next phase, we need to build up the
infrastructure site so we can build our data center and provide a
secure infrastructure for it.”
The Japanese government agreed to funding worth P385 million under
the Japanese Non-Project Grant Assistance-Counter-Value Fund (NPGA-CVF) for the computerisation and data integration programs.
They also funded to the tune of P250 million in 2005 Phase I of the DOF’s computerisation project, which covered the upgrading of the DOF’s IT infrastructure.
Yuvienco said that funds were being used to build a data center as well as restructuring the IT office and providing IT staff training.
Japan extended its funding recently, adding an additional P135 million for Phase II of the computerisation project, which should take two to three years.
Yuvienco said that two of the challenges facing the project’s
implementation were the absorptive capacity of the end-user and the
integration with attached agencies.
“People in government sometimes struggle to think outside of the box.
We also have some challenges with integrating other agencies - this is
actually the first time we’ve done this. Previously, integration was
done manually - when information was exchanged it was done by fax, now
it is electronic.”
Hirochika Namekawa, second secretary of the Japan Embassy in Manila, said the grants would strengthen DOF’s capacity in revenue-generation and financial resource management.
“We’ll be able to increase work flows necessary to manage information
around tax and revenue collection of databases between attached
agencies. It will also enhance the DOF’s information availability for better policy formulation and good governance.”
The Philippine government accumulated the Counter-Value Fund by
selling the commodities procured under Japan’s Non-Project Grant
Assistance which has enabled them to implement projects for
socio-economic development such as the Personal Computers for Public
Schools Project (PCPS).
The Japan government has contributed approximately 2.3 billion pesos for the PCPS under Japanese NPGA-CVF, providing 10 desktop computers and computer peripherals to each of the 1,200 across the Philippines.
The project reduced the computer backlog in secondary education from 75 per cent in 2001 to 37 per cent this year.
Namekawa said: “IT is something that is
important for leadership in regions. We can use our advantage in helping
our other countries since we have advanced in IT and we like to deliver IT to other parts of the world.”
Claricel Yuvienco will be speaking about the computerisation and data integration of the DOF at the FutureGov Forum, Philipppines, next month.