The ICT Office, Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) of the Philippines launched the country’s eGovernment Master Plan 2014-2016 (EGMP) this week, a single strategic blueprint identifying key priorities for the development of the country’s e-governance programme.
The EGMP includes several recent projects, such as the Integrated Government Philippines Project (iGovPhil), which aims to link government data centres and databases to create a secure network for government information systems, and the Medium-Term Information and Communication Technology Harmonization Initiative (MITHI), which will harmonise all IT systems in the public sector.
Launched last year, the 470 million peso (US$10.8 million) iGovPhil project provides the necessary infrastructure and software needed for e-governance. The Philippine Government Cloud was launched under iGovPhil in June this year, to encourange agencies to use cloud applications over traditional IT systems.
iGovPhil also provides users with a Single Sign-On service to log on to any iGovPhil service, and a Government Online Payment System that allows agencies to accept payments from citizens online.
Additionally, the EGMP includes a TV White Spaces initiative launched by DOST-ICTO, bringing broadband internet to rural areas through the use of unused TV broadcast channels called ‘white spaces’. The data connectivity will support rural broadband, telemedicine, educational content delivery and data gathering capability of the government’s sensor networks.
Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology passed on a message from President Benigno Aquino III at the unveiling of EGMP. “Through the e-Government Master Plan, we lay the groundwork for an effective and transparent e-government information system for 2014 to 2016, providing agencies with a framework that will strengthen and integrate existing information systems that are vital to the delivery of services and information”.
The President also stated that technology can be a great catalyst for efficiency in government. “Technology can play a crucial role in linking our people with their government”, he said. “It is through technology that we can improve our services, promote dialogue and responsiveness, and ultimately raise the level of discourse in our country by efficiently informing our citizenry about the policies and initiatives of government”.
The EGMP is an update to the current Government Information Systems Plan, and aims to raise the Philippines from position 88 into the top 50 in the United Nations’ eGovernment rankings by 2016. The plan will be published in its full form after formal approval from the President.