Launching its biggest ICT project yet since Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino assumed power in 2010, the government rolled out on Thursday, June 28, a P470-million initiative called the Integrated Government Philippine Project or iGovPhil.
The massive program was officially launched at the National ICT Summit organized by the Chief Information Officers Forum (CIOF) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City.
The iGovPhil is a joint initiative of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), both attached agencies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The project also counts the Department of Budget Management as a major partner.
The launch of the initiative comes after outgoing Sen. Edgardo Angara questioned the low e-government adoption in the country despite the use of P8 billion in e-Government fund in the last ten years.
During his presentation, ASTI director and National Computer Center (NCC) officer-in-charge Denis Villorente said the project is actually made up of different components across several essential government agencies.
The end goal, however, is to “implement interactive, interconnected and interoperable government applications and online services” to “enhance public service delivery.”
One major part of the project is the TV White Space (TVWS), which aims to tap unused frequencies between TV channels to deliver broadband to underserved communities such as the rural areas.
It also seeks to increase the security of online government services by utilizing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It will merge the e-Serbisyo portal developed by the NCC with www.gov.ph, the online version of the government gazette, to enable a secured single sign-on facility.
The program will also develop a payment gateway that will cater to possible payment modes. It will implement as well a government mail and collaboration system, and management information system.
Proponents said the iGovPhil also intends to put in place a network that will integrate existing government networks over which will applications like the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the National Payroll System (NPS) can run.
The program also intends to oversee and manage the “change process” in all pilot agencies and conduct capacity building programs, as well develop policies for complete systems adoption across concerned agencies.
DOST secretary Mario G. Montejo described the iGovPhil as a “landmark program that aims to enhance the e-capabilities of government… and is a significant step on the road towards true e-governance.”
For his part, ICTO executive director Louis C. Casambre said the project will pave for a “secure yet open and efficient interoperability among all government ICT systems.”
“One of its key objectives is to greatly improve the customer experience between citizens and government and eliminate bureaucratic red tape that is usually a cause for anxiety among our citizenry,” he said.