EXCLUSIVE - OpenGov recognises 7 government bodies in the Philippines for excellence in digital transformation

Held in conjunction with the Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum, the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence (RoE) 2018 aims to set new benchmarks for government ICT innovation in the ASEAN and ANZ regions.

This year, OpenGov recognised and celebrated 7 government agencies and city from the Philippines for striving towards excellence in ICT strategies, policies and initiatives.

Philippines has embarked on an exciting digital transformation journey, seeking to improve the lives of citizens through the use of digital technology. This year’s OpenGov Recognition of Excellence award winners (in alphabetical order) are as below.

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas

OpenGov recognised Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the launch of two specific Automated Clearing Houses (ACH), the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet) and InstaPay during 2017.

As the first prioritised ACH under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS), the PESONeT is a safe, affordable and reliable batch electronic fund transfer credit payment stream. 

Using the PESONet, transfer of funds are processed in bulk, making recurring payments convenient and efficient. With government support and industry participation, PESO Net modernises the country’s retail payment system by serving as an alternative to the check system. 

Supported by 33 BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs), the PESONet helps the Philippines to shift from a heavily cash-reliant to a cash-lite society with greater financial inclusion. It will make business-to-business (B2B), and customer-to-business (C2B) payments more practical; enable corporations to credit salaries to respective existing accounts of their employees without need for the creation of special payroll accounts; enable the digitisation of government-to-government (G2G) and person-to-government (P2G) collections and payments. 

PESONet also provides an opportunity for smaller industry players such as thrift and rural banks to have greater participation in the retail payment system. Other expected gains from PESONet are lowered costs; more efficient budget administration on government’s part; better liquidity management on private businesses’ side; and increased economic activity due to the accelerated velocity of payments and immediate availability of funds.

Another prioritised ACH, Instapay, facilitates real-time electronic fund transfers with its 24/7 service and instant credit to beneficiary accounts. It is a real-time low-value push payment scheme for transaction amounts up to P50,000. This is a new retail payment system designed to facilitate small value payments that will be especially useful for paying for toll fees and tickets, and for e-commerce to enable MSMEs.

Users of InstaPay will be able to accept digital payments in both e-money and bank accounts. This allows financial transactions to be performed simply and quickly through electronic payments. Together with PESONet, Instapay will promote seamless electronic fund transfers and payments between and among accounts in the Philippines.

Dr. Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador, Deputy Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

City of Santa Rosa

OpenGov recognised the City of Santa Rosa for innovative and disruptive use of technology through optimisation of government processes, delivering citizen-centric services and pushing new boundaries.

Mr Danilo Fernandez, Mayor of Santa Rosa city

Department of Finance

OpenGov is recognising the Department of Finance (DOF) for its work in developing in the TradeNet platform. The platform became operational by the end of 2017.

TradeNet is expected to minimise costs of doing business, shorten the processing time of import/export clearances, reduce the number of transactions and required documents to be submitted, and remove bureaucratic red-tape that has plagued businesses and citizens when dealing with the government.

Initially, 16 government agencies were connected online to TradeNet. It is expected to have a total of 66 government agencies on-board progressively over the course of the next two to three years. 20 Philippines government agencies are expected to go online under the ASW platform between the first and second quarters of 2018.

The TradeNet Platform will serve as the country’s link to the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) gateway. The ASW is a regional initiative that aims to speed up cargo clearances and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the organisation’s 10 member-states. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are already using the ASW to exchange information on customs clearances.

Ms Paola Alvarez, Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson, Department of Finance

Department of Finance, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Department of the Interior and Local Government

OpenGov is recognising the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and DOF for the launch of the Philippines Business Data Bank (PBDB).

Mr Carlos Mayorico E. Caliwara, Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection, Department of Information and Communications Technology

PBDB will play a key role in the Philippine Government’s anti-red tape program (ARTA) to improve the ease of doing business in the country. It aims to streamline the application and renewal of business permits through online sharing of information by government agencies involved in the process.

Through the PBDB, government agencies would be able to verify the existence of a business entity using a single reference document. The PBDB would also allow the public to verify the existence of a specific business entity. The system will provide the information by accessing data from various sources. The PBDB’s web-based application can be accessed via the National Government Portal.

Department of Labor and Employment

OpenGov is recognising the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the introduction of the iDOLE Overseas Foreign Workers ID Card for returning OFWs, with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) funding the card production. In recognition to overseas workers’ sacrifices and contribution to the country, the iDOLE ID card is provided for free to OFWs.

The new and free ID allows OFWs to fast track government transactions including travel tax and terminal fee exemptions, contributions with the Social Security Systems (SSS) and Philhealth, and information related to overseas employment.  The cross-agency iDOLE system helps to build a more reliable, updated and complete Labour Market Information System (LMIS) for employment facilitation.

With the launch of the iDOLE OFWs will no longer need to queue in transacting with agencies for their overseas employment as they can now access government services online during the further phases of the iDOLE eServices implementation.

The first phase of the system links DOLE with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The iDOLE system will further interlink the databases of DOLE offices and agencies with other government agencies for a more reliable, updated and complete Labor Market Information System (LMIS) for employment facilitation purpose.

Land Bank of the Philippines

OpenGov is recognising the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the launch of a cashless payment facility for government fees.

The first Inclusive Banking Center (IBC), housed at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) head office in Quezon City, has two point-of-sale terminals, an automated teller machine and a cash deposit machine.

IBC is an interconnected and interoperable facility with Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals linked to the agency’s cashiering system to enable payment of government fees through any bank’s ATM or debit cards. Client-payors who do not have ATM cards for use in paying thru the POS terminal will be provided with pre-generated ATM cards. The facility also houses ATM machines and a Cash Deposit Machine for real-time deposits to the pre-generated ATM cards.

The establishment of the IBC helps to streamline its processes for the ease and convenience of its payor-clients. Also, part of the agreement is the establishment of a safe, efficient, and reliable electronic retail payment system that aims to replace existing cash transactions susceptible to graft and corruption. This mode of payment enables the use of all bank cards for payment of fees, penalties, and franchises.

Mr Liduvino S. Geron, Executive Vice President-Branch Banking Sector, Land Bank of the Philippines

National Privacy Commission

OpenGov is recognising the National Privacy Commission (NPC) for defending privacy rights of Filipino citizens and building public trust in digital economy. Tasked to implement the provisions of the Data Privacy Act, the NPC protects the digital lives of its citizens from privacy breaches.

The NPC works to ensure the personal data protection in the Philippines, both by the Government and the private sector, is in compliance with international standards of data protection. By upholding the principles of transparency, purpose and proportionality in data protection, the NPC is contributing to the building of public trust in the digital domain.

Atty. Ivy D Patdu, Deputy Privacy Commissioner, National Privacy Commission
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