Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, January 12, 2006

RP ranks high in UN e-government readiness study

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net
THE PHILIPPINES is among the top countries in South and Eastern Asia in terms of e-government readiness based on the 2005 Global e-Government Readiness Report of the United Nations.
Due to improved government presence on the Web and a pool of English speaking human capital, the country was ranked fourth in the region, next to South Korea, Singapore and Japan, in the South and Eastern Asia region, the report showed.
Angelo Timoteo Diaz de Rivera, commissioner of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and director general of the National Computer Center, said the results of the UN study "is really favorable to the Philippines, as we have gained stature in terms of providing government content online."
Having read the report, Diaz de Rivera said that the UN study especially took notice of our government portal, www.gov.ph, which was cited to be a good practice for a developing country.
"This means that our government portal was an excellent example of a government portal for developing countries," he said.
"The Philippines' online presence offers an integrated all-services national site, http://www.gov.ph, which is at par with the best in the world and could be considered a good practice. Among the many notable features, the dedicated e-services section illustrates, that one can simply but effectively, integrate information across departments and provides a single place for the users to find them," the report said.
The study also noted the Philippines as among the top 25 countries who are using the web e-government "to its fullest." Ranked 19th, the Philippines was among six developing countries that have used the web to promote e-services in government. This was based on the web assessment portion of the study, which assesses a country's government effort to make provisions for e-services.
The study stressed that problems in infrastructure continues to constrain the proliferation of e-government in the Philippines.
Despite this, the Philippines' overall ranking worldwide improved from 47 to 41 out of 191 countries surveyed in the UN report, Diaz de Rivera added. United States remains to be the global leader in e-government readiness in the recent UN study.
The CICT commissioner said the UN study looks at three aspects in a country: government web presence, human capital, and information infrastructure.
Diaz de Rivera said the Philippines scored better in the web presence aspect, which eventually translated to a better ranking for the country in 2005.
The top 15 countries in the South and Eastern Asia region -from top to bottom, are South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, and Laos.
"The Philippines [has] developed a solid [web] presence across all stages of e-government. In general, therefore, it has covered most of the basic functions and features while simultaneously developing transactional facilities and venturing into the networked presence stage though it still lacks a formal online consultations mechanism," the report said.
It suggested that the Philippines needs to "fortify [web]sites at the ministerial level, which are good but far from matching the quality of its national [web]site."
The UN study said that some government websites, such as the Department of Finance at http://www.dof.gov.ph, was unavailable in the course of its study last year.
"A brand new, re-designed, site is now online, which still has some parts under construction, though it is still very valuable. Its maintenance problems thus resolved, the site now sets the standard for the other departments in the country and consequently contributed to the country's overall rise this year," the report added, referring to the DoF website.


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