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.
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 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.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE
The software services of iGovPhil include online tools, services, and applications for use by government agencies and citizens.
Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
iGovPhil 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.
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.
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.