The Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Program is an essential element in the implementation of the E-Government Master Plan, which aims to improve processes in government to provide better services to both citizens and businesses, as well as promote public participation.
The iGovPhil Program, launched on 28 June 2012, seeks to achieve a higher level of e-governance or the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to rationalize government operations and improve the delivery of goods and services to the people.
It follows previous e-government efforts that began with the creation of the National Computer Center in 1971 through Executive Order 322. A more recent attempt was the establishment of the e-Government Fund through the General Appropriations Act of 2003 with a budget of Php 1 billion annually. These attempts, however, fell short of expectations. A more serious undertaking was initiated in 2000 with the Government Information System Plan or GISP, which adopted the slogan “Philippine government online.” But this, too, suffered some setbacks because of the big gap between policy making and implementation.
Consecutive United Nations surveys show the Philippines dropping from 78th rank in 2010 to 88th in 2012 and 95th in 2014 in terms of e-government development. It has been continuously sliding in the last 10 years. The E-Government Master Plan wants to address this through different projects with ICT components. There are 19 departments in the Philippine government and each has an independent ICT center. The plan now is to link all of them under a “center of excellence” to eliminate duplication of tasks and direct their activities toward building an e-government system. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), together with the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), is in the position to lead the development of such system.
A five-year Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS) was launched in 2011 to employ ICT in the campaign to attain the government agenda and objectives contained in the “social contract” with the people and the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016.
The goals of iGovPhil Program are aligned with the vision of PDS of “a digitally empowered, innovative, globally competitive and prosperous society where everyone has reliable, affordable and secure information access in the Philippines.” The goals include providing transparency, online public service, and preparing the country’s economy and society to new challenges posed by global digital economy and knowledge societies.
The iGovPhil Program, which is being managed by the DOST-ICTO and DOST-ASTI, is tasked to provide the necessary infrastructure and software needed for e-governance. The infrastructure includes the creation of data centers and layout of fiber optic networks to interconnect government offices and provide high-speed communication and sharing of tasks and data. Software includes online tools, services, and applications for use by government agencies and citizens.
The implementation of the iGovPhil Program is based on Executive Order 47, which states the need for an information and communications technology infrastructure that will ensure the delivery of speedy and efficient government services to the people. This aims to make the government more efficient, transparent and accountable.
The primary purpose of the project is to use and maximize the benefits from already developed applications, to install and operate secure government email system; and to develop and to deploy common applications and shared services.
By developing relevant systems and enhancing and maximizing existing ones, the iGovPhil Program aims to:
- Link up relevant government data centers and databases
- Have a secured government shared network for deploying government information system;
- Provide a secured payment system for government transactions;
- Provide a secured single sign-on government portal for accessing common government services
- Showcase Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication in government transactions
- Acquire a secured official electronic communications and collaboration system; and
- Build a Government Data Center that will host all the applications.