PH cited as top nation using geotagging as transparency tool

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The World Bank (WB) has recently recognized the Philippines as the leading nation in utilizing geotagging as a vital tool in promoting transparency of government-implemented projects.

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According to webopedia, geotagging is ?the process of assigning geographic information on a photo such as latitude and longitude coordinates or city and state details for geographic location.

Pioneered by the Department of Agriculture as a virtual monitoring tool for agri-fishery projects in 2011 under the Mindanao Rural Development Program, geotagging is now being adopted by 17 WB-supported projects of national agencies including the Departments of Agrarian Reform, Public Works and Highways, Environment and Natural Resources, and Social Welfare and Development, and the National Irrigation Administration, among others.

The geotagging tool is being utilized under the DA?s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), also a WB-assisted project to validate and monitor proposed and implemented sub-projects.

Geotagged photos of physical accomplishments for projects and deliveries of goods are required for contractors? progress billings, and requests for payment.

PRDP deputy project director Arnel De Mesa said that the WB and Commission on Audit (COA) have asked the DA to help craft and develop standard procedures in auditing and monitoring government projects to include geotagging as a tool in the system.

?The national government will soon release a standardized process scheme in monitoring and evaluating government projects,? De Mesa said during the Geomapping and Governance Unit (GGU) Coordination Meeting on Wednesday, June 24, in Davao City.

GGU head Samuel Belamide, the team that handles the PRDP geotagging said that the tool covers the entire project cycle from validation to implementation, completion and even the assessment of the project impact.

Belamide and his team are responsible for the training of other government agencies in geotagging as well as PRDP?s local government partners and winning contractors for various sub-projects.

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