WB cites PH use of geo-tagging in Mindanao

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?It is heart warming to know that MRDP?s geo-tagging tool is being recognized worldwide,? Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in a statement. ?The World Bank must have seen that the tool may be used in other countries, as well, to promote transparency and accountability,? Alcala noted. The WB recently featured in its website a story entitled, ?Philippines: Geo-tagging for efficient, cost-effective project management.? The story, which came out with a 12-frame photo essay, was posted since February 19, 2013, and has been translated into five other languages. The WB said ?geo-tagging is a Web-based technology that promotes efficient management of community-driven projects in remote and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.? Geo-tagging involves attaching location-specific information such as geographical coordinates to pictures, videos and even SMS messages, the WB said in its feature. Users would need a GPS-enabled phone and Internet connection to upload multimedia to a Web-based application such as Google Maps, which provides the platform to geo-tag at no cost, the article said. Last December 2012, Alcala said the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) awarded the MRDP a ?Good Practice Award? for the geo-tagging tool. ?We are institutionalizing geo-tagging, as we have instructed the MRDP team to train other DA personnel, including local government staff and even contractors, so that we can jointly oversee and monitor the progress of infrastructure projects,? the DA chief added. DA-MRDP Director Lealyn Ramos said the DA pioneered the use of geo-tagging among all government institutions and in the entire Mindanao region. ?It allows us to accurately and easily locate, validate, monitor and manage projects in remote and conflict-affected areas. As such, it has improved transparency and efficiency in procurement and project management,? said Ramos, who is concurrently the DA regional director in Northern Mindanao (Region 10). Geo-tagging enables the user to monitor the progress of the project without traveling to the outskirts of the countryside that are oftentimes, if not always, risky, she added. MRDP thus saves on human resources, time and effort, not to mention that the technology is a safer way of doing things. ?As we implement projects in Mindanao we are constantly faced with the challenges of accessibility, manpower, resources and security concerns,? said MRDP deputy program director Arnel V. De Mesa. ?With the use of geo-tagging our project team and even World Bank officials can validate, monitor and evaluate actual progress on the ground, without having to travel to hard-to-access locations and areas with high security risk,? De Mesa said. ?The learning curve of geo-tagging is not that long, and the beauty of it is anyone can learn the ropes. Even the young ones who are exposed to smart phones nowadays can easily do it,? he added. — PIA ]]>

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