Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Philippines’ National ICT Summit 2012: Cloud Computing and Related Technologies for e-Governance

National ICT Summit 2012 souvenir magazine
The Chief Information Officers Forum (CIOF) and Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation (CIOFF) organized recently a National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Summit 2012 in partnership with the ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology (ICTO-DOST) held at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City. 
National ICT Summit 2012 organizers and officers of CIOF, CIOFF and speaker
Clarito Magsino, president, CIO Forum, Inc. (l3rd from eft); Directors and officers of Chief Information Officers Forum (CIOF) and Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation (CIOFF); 
Vladimir Yordanov, Global Solutions Architect, F5 Network (6th from left)   
The theme of the event was “ICT enabling good governance” was participated by chief information officers of all government agencies, local government units specifically those who are responsible in ICT matters, academicians, ICT practitioners, media and different ICT industries promoting cloud computing and its paraphernalia. 

Dennis F. Villorente, officer-in-charge of National Computer Center and concurrent director of Advance Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) said: “the theme is very relevant as it highlights the critical role of ICT in attaining the president’s national agenda towards government and societal transformation and good governance.” 

In celebration of the National ICT Month, the affair launched the iGovPhil project, Philippines ICT statistics portal, eGovernance forum, CIOF’s Cloud Computing Conference with the aim to deliver accessible public services to the public with efficiency and effectiveness. 

iGovPhil (Integrated Government Philippines) project 
Are you one of those disappointed with the long queues/ lines and unwanted processes in transacting with government agencies? Then, this initiative by the ICTO will soon kaput those wait in lines and bring the transactions online. 

This will strengthen the online presence of citizen-facing government agencies through the launch of a common platform that will push the delivery of online services to the masses. 

Slated the iGovPhil (Integrated Government Philippines) project, this will put up shared services, a common payment gateway system, and a national records management system for a number of government agencies. 

ICTO executive director Louis Casambre said the project has received about P500 million in funding. 

Villorente, officer one of the proponents of the project mentioned results from the recent UN survey on e-Government which showed how the Philippines fell to rank 88 in 2012 from rank 31 in 2005 in terms of providing online services to its citizens. 

“Even Vietnam has overtaken us in terms of the world e-Government rankings,” Villorente reported. “It’s a challenge for us to look at how we are implementing e-Government in the Philippines so we can really move up in terms of performance.” 

Villorente continued that this project will address common ICT-related problems in government, such as the lack of infrastructure and manpower, the high cost of technology, the lack of integration among government agencies and the lack of connectivity in rural communities. 

Government's cloud creation 
Basically, the three core components of iGovPhils will be: 
Workshops and discussions during the ICT Summit 2012
(1) making a shared services platform from where agencies can deploy their online services; 
(2) the creation of a common payment gateway for government; and 
(3) the building of a national records management system. 

The first component will give way to structure two government data centers, in Manila and in Cebu, and so agencies can co-locate their servers to support their online services. 

Having such a common infrastructure according to Villorente is vital to advance confidence among citizens in dealing with the government online. 

“It will allow a trusted environment for citizens to access your services online. GSIS and SSS are deploying kiosks for their services, why can’t we do this over the Internet?” he posed. 

“Such transactions would require a secure environment, because people would hesitate transacting without an infrastructure like this one,” he concluded. 

The second part will provide a common secure online payment gateway for the use of all government agencies. This will be integrated into the e-Serbisyo project of the government, which will see the overhaul of the main government portal (http://www.gov.ph) into a central information portal for all government services. 

“This will make the gov.ph website really a government portal where citizens can access services online from a single location,” the NCC executive explained. 

The ICTO will also be putting up a National Records Management System that will enable sharing of citizen data among various government agencies. 

“We want to create a Philippine Interoperability Framework, so that it will be easier for us to talk to each other through data, applications, and services,” Villorente stated. 

The official gazette 
Manuel L. Quezon III, undersecretary PDSPO during the ICT Summit
The official gazette is the official journal and the national government portal of the Republic of the Philippines which is edited in the Office of the President. 

This gov.ph website was presented by Undersecretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Manuel L. Quezon III. 

The website according to undersecretary Quezon is an open source, more secure and verifiable which is a user-friendly platform provided to all Filipinos, teachers, students and even foreigners. 

This is an inter-agency collaboration with DOST-ASTI, NCC and DBM.

According to him, it is a responsive platform with feedback mechanism connected with the popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Dig to cater to all ages.

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