The Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Program was launched on 28 June 2012. It seeks to achieve a higher level of e-government, or the application of information and communications technology (ICT) to rationalize government operations and improve the delivery of services to the people.
The iGovPhil Program has achieved most of its targets and still committed to provide the necessary infrastructure, software, and platform needed for e-government.
INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE
The infrastructure services of iGovPhil include the creation of data centers, cloud infrastructures and layout of fiber optic networks to interconnect government offices and provide high-speed communication.
The Government Network is designed to interconnect government agencies and simplify processes to provide fast, secure, efficient, responsive, and transparent online services. It aims to provide sufficient bandwidth to support the huge volume of traffic through the use of fiber optic technology.
Three years after its launch, the iGovPhil Program completed the layout of fiber optic cables in Metro Manila and Cebu, connecting 160 and 15 agencies, respectively. Major government agencies in Manila and Cebu are now connected to a common wide area network. To expand the GovNet, installation of fiber optic cables is currently being implemented in seven regional centers: Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley; Iloilo City; San Fernando, Pampanga; Baguio City; Palo, Leyte; Legazpi City, Albay; and Butuan City.
One of the benefits of GovNet is the ability of government employees to connect to the internet using the wireless facility of any building connected to the network. This is made possible through Government Roaming. To access, employees just need to provide their GovNet credentials.
The NGDC serves as the launching point for many government services such as cloud computing, web hosting, server co-location, and other operations. It will optimize ICT resources and operations and address data security concerns for faster data exchange and easier collaboration among agencies.
The iGovPhil Program operates two National Government Data Centers (NGDCs) in Metro Manila. They are fully equipped with the necessary network equipment, connectivity, and data storage facilities, as well as with cooling, security, power, monitoring, and fire-protection systems.
The main data center, NGDC1, hosts 12 agencies using 27 racks, while NGDC2 hosts 6 agencies using 10 racks. Another NGDC is being constructed at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and is expected to be ready by the end of 2016. An NGDC is also being considered to be set up in Cebu.
Government Cloud is a private cloud for the government that allows agencies to use secure applications for their various remote computing requirements. It was set up in small scale in 2013 and was developed initially to support the program’s applications and other services. Later on, its services were offered to other agencies in need of cloud computing. Today, GovCloud can now provision virtualized servers, storage, and network. It hosts 33 agencies using 265 virtual machines and running 98 applications. To expand its GovCloud service, the iGovPhil is procuring a “next generation cloud,” to host production environment applications and databases, and a Government Common Platform cloud to host platform applications and services. Both the NextGen cloud and the GCP cloud are expected to be available by the end of this year.
The Security Operation Center of iGovPhil consistently monitors and performs tests to prevent attacks on government agencies’ websites under Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS). As an added security measure, iGovPhil also uses the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) to ensure documents are authentic and secure. The PNPKI allows users of public networks like the internet to share and exchange data privately and securely through digital certificates. Since its operations, the PNPKI has already issued digital certificates to 1,475 individuals, 5 organizations, and 41 machines.
PLATFORM AS A SERVICE
The platform services of iGovPhil provide a framework and a common space for all shared services and applications. Under this service are the creation of a national government portal that will serve as a one-stop-shop of government online services and the establishment of a common repository of data and information that can be shared among government agencies.
The National Government Portal (NGP) is a single window for all public services. Aside from providing ease of use and simplified browsing experience, the integration of websites into a single portal will effectively reduce costs (financial, human resources, and spatial) for the government. Using the Single Sign-On (SSO), users can log in to NGP using just a single username and password and have access to various data and avail of different services without the need for repeated inputs of personal information and credentials.
Prior to the full implementation of NGP, the Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS) was established on 12 July 2013, through Administrative Order number 39, as a preliminary step. The AO39 mandates all government agencies, financial institutions, government-owned and government-controlled corporations, and inter-agency collaborations, programs, and projects to transfer their web and domain hosting requirements to the GWHS for more efficient use of technology and greater protection against hacking and cyber-attacks.
As of the present, there are 470 government agency websites hosted under the GWHS, and 76 more are migrating to the server.
The Government Common Platform (GCP) is a common repository of data and information that government agencies can access, share, and use to enhance their operations, efficiency, and services. It aims to harmonize the diverse operations of government agencies by adopting a whole-of-government systems model that recognizes the unique and common elements of the agencies.
GCP has also been creating different registries to compile records and data into common databases for easier access and retrieval of necessary information. These registries are Persons Registry, Business Registry, Transport Registry, and Land Registry. Preliminary actions have been done in Persons Registry with more than 50 million birth records already uploaded and made available in the ML Database, and coordination with other government agencies to get marriage and death are being done. For Business Registry, 13,000 records were loaded into the database and more are expected as deals with key government agencies are finalized. For the Transport Registry, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been drafted and for review and comments of the concerned parties.
eGovernment Framework (eGovFrame)
The eGovFrame is a framework for the implementation and development of applications. It is composed of standards, design patterns, and libraries containing modules and tools, for use, maintenance, and reuse in the development of applications. The main goal of the eGovFrame is to create a rich environment for the development of software through the deployment of reusable components and unified standards for programming. It is currently in the development process.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE
The software services of iGovPhil include online tools, services, and applications for use by government agencies and citizens.
The PhPay is an online payment system for government transactions. It is an internet-based middleware that will provide a bookkeeping service to the whole of government by integrating all government services in a single platform and similarly integrating all qualified electronic payment facilities that will enable citizens and businesses to pay for any government transactions online. It renders services through various delivery channels, which include debit instructions (ATM accounts), credit instructions (credit cards), and mobile wallets. Policy documents needed to implement this service are being prepared.
The Forms Builder is a convenient way of creating online forms for government agencies. The application allows government agencies to create electronic versions of their paper-based forms and make them available online. There are 24 current agencies subscribed to Forms Builder, and 114 forms have been already published.
Gabay Aral is an online learning management system (LMS) that enables educators to collaborate, create and distribute online courses. It is based on Moodle, an open-sourced system designed to allow educators to create personalized learning environments.
This system has been adopted by a total of 40 learning institutions and is being implemented by 245 active users from various state universities and colleges.
The iGovPhil Program offers Vidyo, a video conferencing technology that allows users to hold live, audio-visual communication from different locations. It is convenient for government agencies and research institutions because it can be used to hold meetings that may be one-to-one, one-to-group, or group-to-group.
The Government-wide Email System (GovMail) allows government agencies to communicate officially using their own domain name with the .gov.ph suffix. Prior to its upgrade, GovMail can only be used as a generic basic email platform. With GovMail+, the system will be adding features, like video conferencing, voice over IP, and chat.
Currently, there are 91 government agency clients using GovMail with a total of 25,603 accounts.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a cost-effective solution developed to enable quick access to work tools and relevant information, paperless transactions, and automated workflows within and among teams and functions in the organization.
ERP has its pilot implementation in Department of Science and Technology institutions, Information and Communications Technology and Advanced Science and Technology Institution. It contains the following modules: Leave, Daily Time Record, Pass Slip, Employment Record, Equipment Inventory, Purchase Request, and Request for Quotation/Invitation to Bid.
The Government Project Management Information System (PMGov) is an online project management application that allows proponents to collaborate with all the stakeholders every step of the way – from initiation to planning and design, execution, monitoring, evaluation, and closing. There will be a common standard that will enable the government to track its projects.
There are 10 government agency clients in the Philippines using PMGov to monitor and update the projects they are handling.
The Archives and Records Management Information System (ARMIS) is a document management system for the government. Documents submitted by government agencies are available for search and retrieval by users authorized or qualified by level. The general public is also given access to documents classified for public viewing.
ARMIS has the following features and functionalities: (1) Document tracking report per document; (2) Email notification; (3) Dashboard notification; and (4) Universal identification for document tracking number. Fourteen agencies are now using this system.
The Agency Records Inventory System (AgRIS) is a web-enabled list of record series or titles kept and maintained by government agencies. Instead of filling out spreadsheets provided by the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) and sending them through mail, records officers can update their listings using web browsers. Since NAP has a remote access on the system, both NAP and the agencies can have a real time updates on the records inventory.
AgRIS serves as a support databank assisting NAP and the agencies in determining which record series or sets are to be kept and which are for disposal.
The Philippine eGovernment Interoperability Framework (PeGIF) addresses not only the technical issues in using and operating government resources, but also the means of data exchange, the rules, and agreements on the sharing of information and knowledge, and policies on interaction among government agencies, citizens, and businesses.
PeGIF has three interoperability domains: technical, information, and business process. The technical and information interoperability frameworks are complete, while the business process interoperability framework is being worked out by a special working group composed of representatives from government, academe and the private sector.
The objective of RPS is to create a pool of highly-skilled technical human resource to run the planned NGCP and iGovPhil’s other development projects, such as PeGIF, eGovFrame, and applications. It is a support initiative and is envisioned to consist of engineers, scientists, enterprise architects, big data analysts and IT graduates.
Integrated Government Service Center (IGSC)
The IGSC will serve as a one-stop-shop for citizens to access their desired government services and transact via a web-based common platform. The system will use a common portal and single sign in for simplified access and operation. It is still in the initial stage and is designed to work seamlessly, allowing collaboration among and between agencies and the general public.
The GSC, as a collaboration mechanism, allows interaction and synergy between the private business sector and the government. It is envisioned to direct relevant products and services of private providers to targeted requirements of government agencies. As such, it stores and disseminates comprehensive information about IT solutions.
Managing a highly technical ICT project requires even more people to support it to ensure that the infrastructure, applications, and systems being built will not be wasted. Support services for iGovPhil include policy development, technical documentation, communications, creative, administration and finance.
The policy and technical documentation teams are in charge of drafting and ensuring accuracy and quality of legal documents, such as memoranda of agreement, special orders, and contracts, necessary to procure products and services for successful implementation of the projects.
The communications and creative teams are tasked to produce information, education and communication materials about the services of iGovPhil for the information and awareness of client agencies and other stakeholders. They also handle promotion, correspondence and documentation work for the Program.
The administration and finance team manages all events and facilitate preparation and processing of administrative and financial documents.