To simplify processes and improve public service, the government has embarked on a mission to implement interoperability and rationalize data management through a common platform for the whole of government, the Department of Science and Technology announced today (Thursday, February 26).

Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, DOST Undersecretary and Executive Director of the Information and Communications Office (ICT Office), said government IT experts and officials are meeting today to finalize a policy document on information interoperability. A framework on technical interoperability has been completed last year and another policy document, dealing with business process interoperability, is expected this year.

The policy documents, collectively called the Philippine e-Government Interoperability Framework (PeGIF), set the standards to be followed by government agencies and, by extension, private industry partners, to enable them to share and reuse data and information and operate applications in a uniform and efficient manner.

We are holding this executive briefing as part of a consultation process before it is implemented,” Casambre said.

The PeGIF is an initiative of the ICT Office under the DOST to address the need for interoperable applications, and technical, information and operational standards,” Casambre said. “Each policy document under PeGIF is drafted by a working group composed of IT experts from the government, private sector and the academe. The document is then presented and reviewed by a bigger body of stakeholders, like the one we are having today.”

Implementing the interoperability policies will be the Philippine Government Common Platform (PGCP). It is a cloud technology that offers “platform as a service” to all government agencies. The project aims to build a stack of mature technologies to create a common platform accessible to all government applications and databases that will enable sharing, reuse of information, and creation of authoritative data registries, Casambre said.

To ensure a steady supply of skilled manpower for the PGCP and the various ICT projects of government, the iGovPhil has adopted a strategy that it will also be presented to the gathering today.

The Resource Pooling Strategy (RPS) aims to create a pool of highly-skilled technical human resource consisting of engineers, scientists, enterprise architects, big data analysts and IT graduates.

To do this, we plan to work out a deal with private and public universities and academic institutions to implement short-term academic programs that will allow, for example, fourth year or graduating engineering or IT students to undergo training, with the view of filling up the requirements of the PGCP in the future,” Denis F. Villorente, Deputy Executive Director for E-Government of the ICT Office, said. “An apprenticeship program may also be implemented for graduates where they will perform actual work for the PGCP and gain the necessary experiences.”

Partnerships with private IT providers like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and Red Hat will also have to be cultivated for the requirements of the project, he said.