“Agencies should come together, collaborate, and ultimately make government data usable, searchable, and conveniently accessible to the citizens,” Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.

DICT Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim welcomes the government CIOs to the Kapihan ng mga Hepe.

Usec. Ibrahim urged government agencies present in the Kapihan ng mga Hepe on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, to participate in the initiatives of Open Data Philippines. The event was hosted by the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Program to discuss the progress and plans for the open data initiatives.

At present, the Open Data Philippines works on improving the Open Data portal, which will be relaunched on 23 June 2017 along with the National Government Portal (NGP).

Among the plans of the team is the signing of a Memorandum Circular for the implementation of the Open Data Philippines and the creation of a multi-agency team that will focus on the project. The team also targets to connect open data websites of the government to establish a unified open data repository.

Similar open data initiatives, such as the OpenSTAT of the Philippine Statistic Authority and the Freedom of Information of Presidential Communications Operations Office, were discussed by the respective agencies.

During the Kapihan, DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente emphasized the importance of open government data in making government decisions. He added that accessible and reusable government data allows citizens to explore innovative ways in making data more valuable. Graphs and visualizations of datasets in the Open Data also help citizens understand data better.

DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente explains the importance of open government data during the Kapihan.

Open Data Philippines is a project under the iGovPhil Program that aims to make government data accessible, searchable, and understandable. It consolidates government datasets from different government agencies to bring open government data to the public. Gathered datasets are made available online in open formats through the Open Data portal at data.gov.ph.