Implementing Agency

City Government of Tuguegarao

Year Implemented

2018-Present

Themes

Digitization & New Technologies, Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development

General Description

The Tuguegarao City Command Center is a monitoring center with a centralized communication system equipped with state-of-the-art ICT solutions and facilities that can respond to incidents and emergencies 24/7.

The Command Center is manned by the city’s Rescue Team and representatives from the Traffic Management Group, Public Safety and Security Office, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Background and Problem

Being the catch basin of waters surrounding the Cagayan Valley, Tuguegarao City is extremely prone to flood and is mapped as one of the most vulnerable to natural hazard-triggered disasters in the region (Philippine Information Agency, 2011). The Natural Hazards Risk Atlas 2015 also reports the city as second among the 10 most at-risk to natural hazards globally. On top of these issues, disseminating warnings and relaying calls for assistance in the area have been a persistent challenge given their lack of a centralized communication and emergency response system. To mitigate the risks, the city government established the Tuguegarao City Command Center in 2018.

Solution and Impact

Built under the leadership of Hon. Atty. Jefferson Pattaui, through Executive Order No. 28-2018, the Tuguegarao City Command Center was built to help ensure safety and emergency preparedness in the city, not only for natural hazard-triggered disasters but for accidents and man-made disasters as well. Among its services are police assistance, hospital care, fire suppression, and search-and-rescue services.

Specifically, the Command Center aims “to gather and process all information required to manage and control all types of incidents efficiently and effectively for the safety and protection of the communities and properties [through] communication and collaboration with the PNP, BFP, Rescue 1111, barangay officials, and other concerned agencies.”

To achieve this goal, the Command Center was built with a fiber optic-wide aerial network and its own hotline. It maintains 117 high-definition bullet-type PTZ (Pan, Tilt, and Z) closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed strategically in all 49 barangays of the city. The cameras are also equipped with facial recognition technology and night vision allowing for clear videos even in low light conditions. This feature also enables their staff to do round-the-clock monitoring of the city and access to recordings of all incidents.

Since its establishment in 2018, there has been a substantial increase in the number of calls. From the annually reported 3,123 calls received in 2018, it has increased to a total of 15,417 calls received in 2019. The 500% increase could be due to the residents’ growing confidence with the project.

Records also show an increase in the number of incidents responded to, from 6,628 in 2020 to 31,922 as of November 2021. Moreover, the systematic communication process of the command center has also decreased the response time to 3 minutes or even lower. Notably, the quickest recorded response time to date is 1 minute and 18 seconds—from calling the hotline to the touchdown of the responder in the incident area. These statistics can also indicate a growing efficiency and effectiveness to its implementation.

The Tuguegarao City Command Center continues to evolve and develop its services even during the pandemic and it ensures that its personnel complies with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.

The innovative Tuguegarao City Command Center has the following notable features:
Dispatch System

The Command Center utilizes a dashboard system that maintains records of incidents responded to, which also provides the footage and time response. Reports are classified according to type and are searchable by keywords for easier retrieval. Any related documents may be requested and accessed in less than a minute. The dashboard system caters to all kinds of incidents, including COVID-19 vaccination calls. Residents may also contact the City Command Center for COVID-19 and vaccination concerns.

Footage Request

The management of the control center also allows citizens to request access to available footage subject to existing data privacy laws. While clients, upon their request, are allowed to view CCTV footage for valid reasons, recording, and copying of the footage are not permitted. Before being allowed access, concerned parties are required to submit a blotter report for the request to be approved. Footages are stored in the CCTV room with restricted access even among command center personnel. The data captured by the CCTVs are automatically deleted after 30 days unless they are to be retained for legal purposes. The management of the Command Center strictly observes the delicate balance between public welfare and the right to privacy. With the provision of high definition footage, the center resolved various incidents such as recovery of lost items, resolving traffic accidents, and other criminal cases in the city.

Wifi Ko, Wifi Mo

Along with the development of the Command Center, the city administration managed to provide fast, reliable, and free internet access to the city residents. There are 101 access points installed in 57 locations, including schools, government offices, barangay halls, and other public spaces.

Live Traffic Update and Analysis

The distribution of the local internet connection around the city has also made live traffic updates easily accessible via Facebook and Messenger from 5:15 PM onwards. Moreover, the command center also utilizes intelligent video analytic software to monitor and manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the city’s main roads, intersections, entry and exit points, as well as populated areas such as government buildings, public markets, school zones, and church premises. And together with the live traffic advisory, this helps ease the city’s traffic situation, having reportedly reduced travel time by 50%, and it also enables those on the road to make informed decisions about their commute.

Flood monitoring

Through its high-definition CCTVs and 24/7 live monitoring, the Command Center also provides real-time water level alerts and updates of the Buntun Bridge and Pinacanauan Rivers to all barangay captains, the City Disaster Reduction and Management Office (CDRMO), and other concerned authorities in times of possible flooding. This function reduces property losses by timely operation of flood control and measures, especially in low-lying areas. In addition, real-time updates help avoid the spread of fake news; previously, in an incident where 45 out of 49 barangays were flooded, the Buntun Bridge was claimed to be no longer passable when in fact, it still was. But with the current communication system, the information delivered became accurate.

Tuguegarao City Online Checkpoint Registration

Online Checkpoint Registration (OCR) is a travel management tool designed to cater to travelers or visitors entering the city. Created at the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city, it was immediately used after the IATF announced the removal of checkpoints and mandatory 14-day quarantine nationwide. This system aims to contact-trace and monitor individuals entering the city’s vicinity. It is the first online system developed in the country and was implemented before the S-PASS was introduced. Details required in the form include one’s place of origin, barangay of destination, contact number, date of arrival, health declaration, and purpose of visit. In total, it has recorded 15,641 registrants since April 2021, including locals who went home to Tuguegarao City. Watermarked OCR receipts are sent via email after successfully filling out the form.

Contact Tracing Diagram Report

A contact tracing center was formed at the city Command Center as another initiative in response to the pandemic. The office came up with its own format of report featuring a contact tracing diagram that focuses on visual data of all possible cases and their close contacts. It also provides a shareable Google map showing all possible cases in the vicinity.

Milestones

Tuguegarao City recorded zero casualties when Typhoon Ompong happened in 2018 and after a flooding on 6 December 2019 that affected 56,387 people. The last onslaught of a mega-flood occurred in the city last November 2020. While it damaged several properties and affected more than a hundred thousand people, only two casualties were recorded.

On the other hand, reports showed a decrease in the crime rate from the monthly average of 42 in 2017 to 39 in 2019. Relatively, time response and solution efficiency increased from 47.27% (2017) to 79.92% (2019), to 86.05% (2020), and 90.48% as of December 2021.

In light of the successful implementation of its services, the Command Center has also been attributed in increasing the confidence of the city’s prospective investors. As a result, the city’s business and investment climate has since improved.

The Tuguegarao City Command Center championed the “Best in LGU Empowerment” (City Level) in the last 2020 Digital Governance Award (G2C). Similarly, “Wifi ko, Wifi mo” was also nationally recognized with its nomination for the “Best in Customer Empowerment Award” (City Level) in the same event.

“The Tuguegarao City Command Center has become a source of pride for the people. It was recognized as one of the city’s best practices, which the other neighboring cities are starting to emulate,” said Mr. Angelo Suyu, former head of the Command Center.

To further expand its services, the city government also plans to create a mobile command center to help ensure the delivery of services even to areas that are hardly reached by CCTV cameras and big events such as festivals. The said mobile command center is envisioned to become a bus, trailer, or van that will be used exactly like the main workspace. Likewise, it will be thoroughly equipped with industry-standard technology using GPS drone technology.

Sources

Banguilan, Jeanette; Buslig, Rhea-Lou; Lemmao, Aprilyn, (2018, February). The Compliance of Tuguegarao City in the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Law. International Journal of Advanced Research Management and Social Sciences, Vol. 7 No.2. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://garph.co.uk/IJARMSS/Feb2018/14.pdf.

Tuguegarao City Command Center. (2022, May 2) Live Traffic Updates [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/tugueC5

Tuguegarao City Local Government. (2020, December 11). Digital Governance Award: Command Center [Video]. https://tuguegaraocity.gov.ph/

Tuguegarao City. (2022, April 21). Tuguegarao City [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1231460139/videos/pcb.2247889662030885/704361173936077

Philippine News Agency. (2020, 24 November). Local execs propose measures to lower Cagayan’s disaster risk. https://www.preventionweb.net/news/philippines-tuguegarao-city-organizes-disaster-management-council

Natural Hazards Risk Atlas. (2015, 4 March). Which cities are most exposed to natural hazards? https://www.maplecroft.com/insights/analysis/which-cities-are-most-exposed-to-natural-hazards/

Photos and Videos

Tuguegarao City Command Center monitors all areas of the city through its high-definition CCTV cameras.
Tuguegarao City Online Checkpoint Registration form is accessible online through https://bit.ly/TugueOCR.
Live traffic updates are available daily through the Tuguegarao City Command Center’s Facebook page.
The dashboard system by the command center provides access to necessary information related to incident reports.
Live monitoring footage of Tuguegarao City Command Center on one of its public markets that are publicly viewable through its Facebook page.
Hotline Directory of Tuguegarao City Command Center is provided through its Facebook page.

Organization

Pangasinan State University

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens / Customers

Year Implemented

July 2020

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

Due to the current pandemic, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) advised Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to adopt the flexible learning strategy. As a response, Pangasinan State University (PSU) administration partnered with local government units (LGUs) to establish PSU-LGU ICT Konek, a learning space with an internet connection to students of PSU within the locality could avail. This project was able to support around 1,000 students through the establishment of 37 centers distributed across 26 municipalities.

Background and Problem

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released seven CHED-COVID advisories containing guidelines for effectively implementing the academic operations of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, CHED COVID Advisory No. 7, released on 24 May 2020, contained the instruction for all HEIs to adopt the flexible learning strategy in delivering instruction by ensuring appropriate (1) Facility Delivery System, (2) Faculty Complement, and (3) Student Support. Further, the guidelines also encouraged HEIs to maximize the use of technology to support teaching and learning. The advisory suggested actions such as the determination of the level of technology to be used for the delivery of programs based on the connectivity of the students, the establishment of a multi-media or learning resource center to provide support to faculty in the development of IT-enabled or IT mediated instructional materials, utilization or access of available open educational resources, and the utilization of a learning management system.

The City Government of Urdaneta providing the necessary space and internet connection needed by the students for the PSU-LGU ICT Konek.

Solution and Impact

Initially, they surveyed the students’ needs regarding adopting the flexible learning modality. Their survey showed that the majority of their students had problems with internet connectivity and the availability of gadgets.

As a response, the PSU administration came up with a proposal to partner with local government units (LGUs) in establishing a learning space with an internet connection to which students of PSU within the locality could avail. The project was later named PSU-LGU ICT Konek- a Bayanihan project co-implemented by the university and the LGUs, in response to the national government’s call to “Heal as One.”

With 37 ICT “Konek centers” in 26 municipalities, about a thousand students could use the learning spaces to attend to the requirements of flexible learning. The LGUs provided the project’s physical structure (learning space), while PSU provided the computers they pulled out from the computer laboratories of their different campuses. And PSU also provided the internet connection and maintenance of the Center. With the establishment of these learning spaces, students residing near the centers did not need to buy their gadgets or allot money to buy cell phone loads to participate in online learning.

Milestones

Per BOR Resolution Number 91, series 2020, the project PSU-LGU ICT Konek became an official project of the university. Through the campus extension coordinators, the university visited various municipalities and discussed the details of the project. Afterward, the Memoranda of Agreement were fortified to make the project an official joint project of both PSU and the LGUs.

Organization

Department of the Interior and Local Government

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy Operations

Year Implemented

2017

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

One of the significant roles of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is to provide comprehensive information about local government units (LGUs). However, these details can only be accessed and updated through a complex process. Because of this, the DILG Information Systems Interoperability Platform was created. It is an in-house developed application that acts as a gateway to various other applications and contains features such as a Document Management System (DMS), the Executive Information System (EIS), and an Attendance Monitoring System (AMS). Notably, the platform allowed the department to continue and improve its operations despite its shift to Work-From-Home (WFH) arrangement under the COVID-19 situation.

Background and Problem

One of the significant roles of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is to provide comprehensive information about local government units (LGUs) to the national government, policy and decision-makers, other national government entities, and other relevant stakeholders. Said information should include demographics, economic profile, disaster-related data, awards and citations, Infrastructure, local officials, and performance. However, before the implementation of this project, all these details could only be viewed and updated by accessing a corresponding online application system one at a time. And as time went on, other bureaus, services, and operating units of the department started adopting online systems for their data management. It was quite a complex process, yet every employee—from the central, regional, provincial, city, and even down to the municipal office- was required to navigate it.

As the number of information systems increased, the management and maintenance of all the application systems became more challenging. Crucially, interoperability and data sharing among information systems were not clear, leading to duplicated efforts in collecting and encoding data across these systems. And overall, this also led to a slower processing time for all sorts of communication.

The DILG Region 8 Information Communication Technology Unit (RICTU) held a roll-out training on DMS last 22 July 2020.

Solution and Impact

To address issues around interoperability and data sharing, to minimize the time spent on processing, encoding, and updating, and to minimize the need for constant client follow-ups, The DILG Information Systems Interoperability Platform was created. It is an in-house developed application that acts as a gateway to various other applications that support other bureaus, services, and operating units of the department. Notably, it contains over 40 in-house developed systems.

Some of its most notable features include:

  1. A feature to view and download information relative to the department’s issuances, announcements, and organizational knowledge, among others.
  2. A Document Management System (DMS) generates a unique document control number for each registered document. It also enables other operations such as document routing, processing, report generation, digital approval of documents, and QR Code signing.
  3. The Executive Information System (EIS) provides executives with critical information through dashboards, statistics, maps, and other reports, which can aid policy formulation and decision-making.
  4. And lastly, it also includes an Attendance Monitoring System (AMS).

In building the platform, the project team first conducted a systematic study with their Records and Administrative Service units. Then they started creating the DMS, not the whole system at first. Afterward, they performed a pilot test and conducted a series of training sessions. After its adoption, they enhanced it with other features such as intranet and SSO.

Because of the platform, the department could continue and improve its operations despite its shift to Work-From-Home (WFH) arrangement under the COVID-19 situation. The AMS allowed employees to record their attendance, tasks, and accomplishments while WFH. The AMS also served as the monitoring tool for supervisors to assess their subordinate’s daily accomplished tasks. Relatedly, the COVID-19 pandemic massively increased the department’s volume of transactions. Yet, these were met through the help of the DMS feature. And as the platform helps achieve many of the department’s operations in a paperless fashion, it has also contributed to saving costs.

Milestones

The Intranet with SSO started its implementation in 2017. As of today, the system is being utilized by a total number of 8,528 DILG officials and employees. These include the permanent, contractual, and contract of service and appointed individuals of the department. On 14 December 2020, DILG held its First Annual Online Performance Assessment and the project team was the recipient of the “Best Service Award”, commending them for the development and widespread adoption of a much-needed in-house application system. The implementation of the DMS has helped fast-track communication within the different offices of the Department, both central and regional, especially now that the department is adapting to the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organization

Tarlac State University

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Operations

Year Implemented

2019

This is a GBPR 2021 Recipient

Summary

The PMERS was developed in 2019 through the in-house collaboration of the ESMO, MISO, and CCS. The system provides authorized users web-based access to extension information and documentation and enables them to monitor ongoing and completed projects, administer client evaluation and obtain summaries of such, and generate extension-related reports in no time and in the convenience of their personal spaces. The system is also being used during online program accreditation and the ISO 9001:2015 audit to provide accreditors and auditors with reliable online-based evidence about the extension service accomplishments of the University.

The PMERS aims to achieve greater productivity, more efficient use of government resources, positive environmental impact, and employee safety towards contributing to TSU’s vision of becoming a premier university in Asia and the Pacific and on a larger scale, contributing to other institutions’ development through the sharing of this best practice.

Log-in page of the TSU Extension Services Management Office PMERS

Background and Problem

As an active community partner, TSU engages in various extension programs, projects, and activities with its clients and beneficiaries. Since 2018, TSU has delivered 440 extension projects to more than 150 groups and 10,000 individuals. Such great numbers posed a challenge to ESMO in managing volumes of extension project information and documentation.

Among the issues that need to be addressed include the following: Repeating requests for and reproduction of project documents; considerable time spent in requests for access to information and generating reports; extension service time used for administering customer evaluation; substantial use of paper, ink, and other office supplies for printing documents; and physical contact between office personnel and requesting individuals.

Solution and Impact

The PMERS addresses the central problem of managing extension project information and documentation given the increasing number of extension projects of the University. Management in this context includes access, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting extension project information and documentation. In addition, paper-based management consumes large amounts of office supplies resulting in higher expenses and adverse environmental impact.

With the implementation of the PMERS, the following results were achieved:

  1. Decrease in the number of documented requests from 30 to 2.
  2. Information access took about one working day to only about 10 minutes.
  3. Report preparation and generation takes only about 5 minutes from about two working days.
  4. Extension service time used to administer customer evaluation surveys was reduced from 20 minutes to zero.
  5. Customer participation rate increased by 13.35% compared to pen-and-paper customer evaluation.
  6. The estimated number of sheets of bond paper used decreased from 3,378 to about 100. Ink consumption also decreased from about 33% of toner capacity consumed to only about 1%.
  7. Increased savings amounting to 4,510 Pesos.
  8. The number of visitors who requested documents decreased from 30 to zero.

The aforementioned results of the implementation of the PMERS contributed to the following impacts:

  1. Increased productivity among employees translates to savings on manpower.
  2. Financial benefit in the form of savings.
  3. Savings on potential employee Covid-related expenses.
  4. More learning opportunities for clients and beneficiaries as a result of increased learning time with the removal of the administration of customer evaluation on-site.
  5. Better employee well-being as a result of experiencing a more efficient system in accomplishing tasks.
  6. Minimized adverse impact of the University’s activities on the environment.

Milestones

In early 2019, ESMO conceptualized a system that would attempt to address the problems mentioned. The office requested the services of OJT students from CCS to design the system, which was initially intended to be a database of extension projects for exclusive use by the office. The PMERS became operational in July 2019.

However, ESMO realized there was room for improvement and additional features. The office met with deans, college extension chairpersons, and the MISO to conceptualize and design an improved system that would address further needs identified and accessible to more users. In March 2020, the system underwent improvement and upgrading while it remained operational to ensure it continued to address the needs of its target users. Finally, the improved and upgraded system was completed in January 2021 and was officially launched in March 2021. The intended users were then capacitated on the use of the system.

TSU was awarded 2nd place winner under the SUC Category in terms of the Best Practices and Initiatives in Mitigating the Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic during the Central Luzon-wide celebration of the 1st National Higher Education Day and 27th Founding Anniversary of CHED held in May 2021; the PMERS was one of the practices featured in TSU’s entry. Upgrading of the system is in MISO’s pipeline of projects for 2021-2022 to include new features such as online proposal and post-activity report preparation. Promotion of the upgraded system in 2022 for possible adoption by other SUCs in Central Luzon.

Organization

Department of Foreign Affairs

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Citizens / Customers Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management Operations

Year Implemented

15 May 2020

This is a GBPR 2021 Recipient

Summary

The Integrated Online Consular Service System for Appointment Scheduling, Service Delivery Monitoring, and Client Data Analytics was designed by the Philippine Embassy in Canberra to be a client-focused digital platform that evolves the standard appointment system into a holistic system that covers end-to-end service monitoring and delivery, provides data analytics to help anticipate challenging situations and make data-based plans and improvements.

Background and Problem

The Philippine Embassy in Australia’s services is open to the over 300,000 Filipinos living in the seven states/territories of Australia, especially the 100,220 Filipinos residing in areas under the consular jurisdiction of the Embassy.

The Philippine Embassy had a walk-in policy for all services before this initiative. This became unsustainable because of long waiting times and crowding during peak days, the unpredictable number of services and service hours per day, and the rapid increase in the workload of frontline personnel who were also handling back-office operations and addressing public queries.

The previous processes rely heavily on the client (a) remembering and understanding the procedures for releasing their passport and (b) constantly checking the Embassy website or calling the Embassy for an update on their passport. Alongside this, the Embassy staff needs to manually retrieve the consular documents each time a client queries are received on the status of their application.

During disasters like the bushfire crisis in Australia and the current COVID-19 pandemic, basic statistics about Filipinos in the various states/territories of Australia can be crucial in planning courses of action and providing urgent advice in critical situations, if needed.

Screenshot of the Philippine Embassy of Canberra Australia Online Appointment System.

Solution and Impact

The system was activated on 15 October 2020, covering the first three consular services: passport, notarial, legalization, and NBI fingerprinting. A test model was developed per consular service. Both management and staff members individually tested the model. Further consultative meetings would be held with the developer for technical adjustments.

Alongside this, the Embassy conducted an information dissemination campaign to inform the public of the expected changes with a step-by-step guide on navigating the system.

The system unifies the management of consular services providing a more comprehensive overview of consular operations. From an organizational perspective, the system produces quantitative data sets on clients and services, which can form the basis for future operational improvements and support policy formulation by the mother agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. Among others, the system generates the following data:

  1. Number and kinds of services availed per day, month, or year. The Embassy can determine if additional appointment slots or personnel are needed for particular periods or services at any given time;
  2. Disaggregated data on clients’ locations. As the Embassy’s clients can come from any of Australia’s seven states and territories, this feature allows the Embassy to prepare in advance if clients are coming from a state or area with active COVID-19 cases to provide additional care or consideration for clients coming from far away places The data will also be crucial during disasters and emergencies in a particular state in Australia.
  3. The system also allows supervisors to see the progress of a particular service’s completion and identify the stage and personnel where a backlog has occurred. It encourages accountability and provision of intervention or assistance on an objective basis.
  4. Gender-based data. In line with GAD, disaggregated data regarding PH-based gender is also available.

The consular services covered as of 07 July 2021 are:

  1. Passport applications;
  2. Notarial and legalization of documents;
  3. Fingerprinting for NBI clearance; and
  4. Overseas voter registration. Plans are ongoing to integrate dual citizenship and civil registry services within the month.

The system also provides flexibility and reliability in the work of the Embassy as any consular personnel can navigate the system. The system will also be particularly useful when the Embassy is forced to implement alternative work arrangements as contingency arises. For the part of the consular clients, it provides transparency and predictability in the availability and delivery of service. This transparency, alongside buy-in from the personnel, contributed to improved performance and customer service orientation of Embassy staff, as seen in the feedback forms and various forms of appreciation expressed by clients.

Finally, the system allows the Embassy to send updates to a specific group of clients when needed. As the COVID situation remains fluid, the Embassy can provide updated advice to affected clients on new regulations or restrictions and any delay in service delivery.

Milestones

In June 2021, this system was recognized by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila as among the DFA Best Practices for 2021 – Foreign Service Post Category as part of the DFA Quality Management Service performance. Among the immediate results was improved efficiency and productivity of personnel due to the significant decrease in the number of phone calls and emails inquiring about consular services under the system. The information on each transaction is sent to clients automatically as a matter of standard operating procedure. The auto-generated emails also provide detailed information for clients. Frontline staff has observed a higher compliance rate with the requirements reducing the back-and-forth communications between staff and clients. The time saved was used by personnel to answer phone calls and emails on other matters and to provide higher customer service quality to in-person clients.

The Embassy is continuously developing the system based on a regular review to ensure it continues to meet the client’s expectations and serves the effective delivery of consular services. At the same time, the Embassy also strives to develop this system into one that meets the modern standards of business service delivery. The future developments include (a) the inclusion of all consular services, (b) automation of more functions, (c) the option for updates via text, and (d) generating greater customer feedback.

Organization

Civil Service Commission Regional Office II

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Citizens / Customers Operations

Year Implemented

2015

This is a GBPR 2021 Recognized Best Practice

Summary

The e-NOA and its enhanced version, the e-NOAv2, are specially designed to provide fast, accurate, and paperless notice of school and room assignments to examinees taking the Career Service Commission (CSC) examinations in Region 2 (ROII). This application, which was exclusively developed and used in CSC ROII, aims to lessen the costly and tedious task of manually preparing, sorting, and mailing school and room assignment notice to career service examinees.

Background and Problem

The Civil Service Commission, in its mandate to ensure that appointments in the civil service shall be made according to merit and fitness, administers the nationwide CSE-PPT twice a year. Before the inception of the e-NOA in 2013, the CSC ROII received an average of 10,000 examination applications in one examination period or an average of 20,000 examination applications for the whole year. During those times, the ESD manually sends notices of school and room assignments to examinees through snail mail. Considering the large number of applications, preparing, sorting, and mailing the individual notice of school and room assignments was an ordeal for the Division, which was then manned by only five staff. The time spent by the staff in doing these tasks has affected their efficiency in performing the more important aspects of exam administration. Moreover, it was observed that thousands of mails have been “returned to sender” as the addressees have either moved places or did not provide the correct mailing address, thereby affecting the number of examinee attendance.

Screenshot of the CSC Electronic Notice of Assignment (eNOA)

Solution and Impact

The e-NOAv2 offers the CS examinees the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to obtain their school and room assignments for the CS exam. All examinees, including those in remote areas without internet connectivity, can obtain information about their school and room assignments through the automatic sending of NOA. If the examinees changed their contact number or did not receive the NOA, they can simply request NOA through the CSC regional and field offices’ hotlines, to which the action officers may reply using the eNOAv2.

The e-NOAv2 works by installing the application on the laptop or desktop computer, android device, or mobile phone of all field offices and ESD personnel in the region so that they can be able to quickly disseminate the NOA in their respective jurisdiction or reply to queries on school and room assignment any time. Also, during the actual examination day, all testing centers are equipped with a pre-installed e-NOAv2 application to facilitate the quick search of room assignments of examinees, if needed.

The CSC ROII has observed a considerable decrease in exam administration costs. The cost of mailing allotted for each examinee was ten pesos. Hence, with 10,000 examinees, the Office saves more than Php 100,000 for mailing services using e-NOA. The e-NOAv2 has contributed to the environment by ensuring zero waste. The CSC ROII has also observed a boost in productivity from ESD staff since the tedious task of manual NOA preparation has been removed.

Furthermore, the CSC ROII communicated with its clients clearly and effectively, ensuring an error-free NOA because of limited human intervention. More importantly, it has facilitated locating school and room assignments on the part of the examinees as they receive their NOA at least a week before the examination day, giving them ample time to visit the school before the test. Moreover, the e-NOAv2 has an added feature that uses Google Maps to help examinees locate their school assignments.

Considering that almost everyone already possesses mobile phones, the CSC ROII has recognized that the e-NOA/e-NOAv2 is the most efficient and effective way to reach its examinees. As a result of the fast and reliable information given to examinees on their school and room assignments, the ESD has observed a remarkable improvement in the number of absent examinees during the examination day.

Milestones

The e-NOA, then later the e-NOAv2, is a distinct practice identifiable to CSC ROII. Because of its perceived advantages and impact, the Examination, Recruitment, and Placement Office (ERPO) of the CSC Central Office and the other Regional Offices have acknowledged the usefulness and efficiency of the e-NOA/e-NOAv2 in improving exam administration. As such, the proponent of the innovation, Mr. Anthony Jay L. Barruga, has been repeatedly invited during learning interventions at the CSC Central Office to share about the e-NOA and requested for possible replication of the application to be used by the other regional offices. Because of these innovations, Mr. Barruga was recognized and conferred the CSC PRAISE Gawad Kahusayan Award in 2015, and the CSC ROII PRAISE Most Outstanding Dependability Award in 2018. He was again awarded the CSC PRAISE Gawad Kahusayan in 2019 for the e-NOAv2.

Aiming to improve the innovation continuously, Mr. Barruga gathers feedback and studies the possibilities of upgrading the features of the current e-NOAv2. As an added new feature, the e-NOAv2 functions as a web-based application wherein information dissemination may be done through e-mail. Further, the e-NOAv2 is now incorporated in the Examination Application Information System (EAISY 2013), a system used in encoding examination applications and serves as a database of information of registered examinees.

Organization

Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Human Resource; Operations

Year Implemented

January 2017

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

The BGHMC-HRMIS is a database system that keeps important information about the hospital’s employees. It contains all the data used for the different human resource (HR) functions, such as Electronic Appointment Preparation, Salary, Benefits and Payroll Management and Administration, Learning and Development, Rewards and Recognition, and Performance Management. It also offers self-service transactions for the employees, such as e-filing of leaves, online access to their leave credits, salaries, and benefits, and online updating of personal datasheets. 

Background and Problem

Before the institutionalization of the PRIME-HRM and the signing into law of the “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2015”, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) had already aligned its dedication with this mandate. They have been focusing on easing hospital operations through transactions and processes of its employees through the development of systems resulting in employee satisfaction and better patient care. 

The BGHMC’s growth in terms of Human Resources for Health (HRH) is exponential. Because of the Rationalization Plan in late 2013, the HRH in BGHMC grew from 676 in 2013 to 1,379 in December 2018, or a 49% increase. In September 2018, the BGHMC was approved for upgrading to 800 beds by virtue of RA 11084.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the 994 positions as part of the 1st tranche last September 2019. To date, the BGHMC has 2,482 positions. Given the challenge, the BGHMC-Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) has to step up its processes to deliver efficient, effective, and timely services to its clientele. The HRMO is in charge of the following HRM functions: Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Employees’ Salaries and Benefits, Performance Management, Rewards and Recognition, and Personnel Records keeping. The inter-phase link of each function and the limited number of staff to deliver all the services and outputs was a challenge to HR. This motivated the team to develop the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS).

Solution and Impact

In the journey towards the  CSC’s PRIME -HRM, the primary goal of the BGHMC is to elevate the public sector human resource management to a level of excellence through a process of HRM systems and practices for service. This was done through the BGHMC-HRMIS, a database system that keeps relevant information about every employee in the hospital.

The operationalization of the HRMIS expedited all the works in HRMO with the following as its features:

  • HR Process and Services (Traditional/before the creation of the HRMIS) 
  • BGHMC-HRMIS Features
  • Preparation of Payroll (salaries, benefits, bonuses, Magna Carta benefit
  • Exporting a summary of leaves and performance evaluation as input to payroll preparation is reduced from 15 to 2 days. Requirements for entrance to duty leaves incurred, performance evaluation, etc., can be easily exported from the system.
  • MSWord preparation of appointment Automated Appointment preparation (CS Form 33)
  • Personal visit to HR to inquire leave balances and file a leave Automated Leave Application/filing 
  • Online access of individual employees earned leave credits and leave ledgers
  • Excel Version of leave Ledgers Automated version of leave ledgers. Updated on time are also tardiness, and undertime incurred is deducted from vacation leaves earned
  • Excel version of Service Record Automated Version of Service Record
  • Printed payroll per division, department, unit, office automated payslip. With records of previous salaries and benefits received since January 2017.
  • Excel version or handwritten filled-out CSC Form 212 Electronic and automated Personal Data Sheet including regular updating
  • Excel version of Summary per rating period only – Performance evaluation ratings of staff available per rating period since 2017
  • MS Word version prepared yearly Awards and recognitions received by staff (PRAISE)
  • Staffing Plan–with the minimum Qualification standards per position incorporated in the HRMIS. Next-in-rank employees in any position are easily identified. Vacancies easily monitored
  • As required by CSC, DBM, DOH, and COA, important reports can be easily generated and downloaded from the system.
  • Excel Version of Employees Licenses Validity Database Automated database of Employees Licenses Validity

With the online access of each employee to these HR services 24/7, hospital staff are more confident that all the needed information is accessible anytime they need it. Hospital staff can now focus more on their patient care services. 

The effectiveness of the HRIS system has reached different government offices, resulting in CSC’s recommendation to make it a learning laboratory where other government offices can benchmark. Since they developed the system internally, the office saved around 2.5 million pesos.

Milestones/Next Steps

In December 2018,  the CSC conferred BGHMC with the PRIME-HRM Maturity Level II. 

The office is continuously enhancing the features of the system to make it more relevant to the new normal; the HRMO is strategizing on the ease of doing HR business in such a way that HR transactions, i.e., request for Service Record, Certificate of Employment, viewing and printing of personal DTRs, and many more are done through the system.  They aligned all of these with their quest to achieve the highest level of PRIME-HRM (Level 4) soon,  which is equivalent to Strategic Human Resources.

They have requested the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for data management assessment to register it for copyright.

With the operational efficiency the system has brought in the delivery of HR services, the BGHMC plans to share the system with their DOH family nationwide to elevate the quality of service of the whole DOH.

Organization

Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens / Customers, Operations

Year Implemented

2015- Present

This is a GBPR entry.

Summary

The uVote or Universal Voting System for student government elections has been extended to secondary schools in the Rinconada district since 2018. Each year, from January to March, the extension services team of the Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC), spearheaded by the College of Computer Studies (CCS), facilitates the use of uVote, including the conduct of training among students and teachers on how to vote and operate the e-voting system independently. The uVote system was offered to secondary schools as a Voter Education alternative, grounded on the research finding that experiential voting in school increases the likelihood of voting in subsequent elections and eventually in government elections in adulthood. Similarly, this initiative aims to help educate voters about their role, responsibility, and civic rights and establish good election habits at a young age.

Background and Problem

The first e-voting system in the Philippines started in the 2010 elections. It was the most expensive election ever conducted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) due to the new electoral technology and massive voters’ education campaigns implemented.

This reality suggests that developing a mature and responsible electorate with strong democratic values depends highly on government institutions’ voter education approach and implementation mechanism. Viewed in this perspective, strengthening the democratic values of the electorate at an early age gravely hangs on the country’s educational system. Fortunately, Philippine lawmakers also see education as a useful vehicle to enhance voters’ consciousness and improve the election system and outcomes in the country; several bills have been proposed toward this end in Congress. These bills seek to integrate voter education with the mandatory inclusion of patriotism and nationalism into the high school curriculum in both public and private schools. Yet, the enactment of these bills has remained in the planning stage up to the present.

According to studies, experiential voting gives a positive attitude for students to build trust in the modern e-voting system. Yet several schools still deem student e-voting systems as inconsistent and expensive. This perception is reinforced by how a student e-voting system is often not affordable to underprivileged and technologically inept schools, such as the public secondary schools in Rinconada.

Given this challenge, uVote was developed to bridge the gap, offering the utilization of this innovation as an alternative Voter Education campaign tool, free of charge, in Rinconada’s secondary academic institutions.

Screenshots of the uVote System

Solution and Impact

Before the implementation and utilization of uVote, a needs assessment survey was conducted to learn the initiatives or strategies adapted in promoting and implementing voter education, assess current ICT infrastructure, and determine which uVote platform is appropriate for the partner school. The assessment resulted in a customized extension-training proposal for each school that included the target dates, venue, participants, training cost, materials or equipment needed, and training flow. The purpose of the training (Users Training) was to expedite the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills required for the main target groups-teachers and students, when using the uVote system. The training was divided into two sessions – the Teachers track and the Students track. The Teachers track introduced teachers to the basic functions of the uVote System as Administrator and Voter. It provided some pointers on exploring the uVote GUI modules and managing the system to generate reliable and secure election results.

On the other hand, the Students track introduced the process of pre-voting, voting, and post-voting to eligible student voters. This strategy was common to all partner schools. Several parallel sessions were facilitated for this track due to the number of students per grade level. The training also included a mock election designed as a practice exercise to assess if target users acquired the required skill in managing and casting votes using uVote from start to finish. The actual uVote utilization was the election day of the partner school after the training activity.

The accomplishments above reveal how uVote is dynamic, universal, and adaptable to any form of student government election procedure. Any public or private school interested in converting the traditional paper ballot system to an automated electronic voting system may avail of the extension service. Downloads and citations of the published article on uVote increased. This boosts the potential to expand the use of uVote to secondary schools beyond Rinconada.

Post evaluation per extension activity is conducted to determine uVote’s Quality of Use (based on ISO 25010 metrics), which will serve as a basis to improve the uVote system and future extension initiatives. The uVote process allowed the partner school to save money and time that would have been spent printing, distributing and counting paper ballots. Since vote casting and tabulation were completed within the same election day, the process was faster by 300% compared to paper balloting, which took two to five days to complete. Voter turnout increased by 30.47 percent. Lastly, the speedy process encouraged transparency and election integrity.

Milestones/Next Steps

Very few secondary schools were interested at the beginning of the uVote extension service, and most were hesitant to adopt the uVote system. However, after a year of campaigning (and informing the schools that the system was free-of-charge) and as word-of-mouth spread the news of the effectiveness of uVote, Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) and/or Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) of CSPC with schools interested to adopt uVote increased by 100%. Downloads and citations regarding the uVote research article also increased as posted by ResearchGate, Academia, and Google Scholar. Moreover, the uVote extension paper was accepted as an official entry for the Outstanding Research Paper on Extension Award during the 2019 Philippines Extension and Advisory Services Network Inc. (PhilEASNet) Biennial AFFNR Extension Symposium held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, on October 8-11, 2019.

Expanding the use of uVote to secondary schools beyond Rinconada is the ultimate extension goal of the CSPC-CCS. For this reason, post-evaluation of the extension activity is being conducted to determine uVotes’ Quality of Use (based on ISO 25010 metrics). The general result of the evaluation shall be the basis for improving the uVote system and future extension initiatives.

Organization

Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC)

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Human Resource, Operations

Year Implemented

31 March 2020

This is a GBPR for COVID-19 Response entry

Summary

The vision of Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) is to provide quality multispecialty end-referral care to the people and for the hospital to level up to be the center of health capacity and response system, particularly during this pandemic. Using digital innovation to improve health access and service delivery is one important strategy to address the gaps affecting micro and macro socio-economic activities.

The innovation started with an online social media platform called “E-Konsulta Mo Kay Dok,” which later developed into a web application for the pre-hospital coordination Outpatient Department Appointment System. This online communication increased awareness of ITRMC as one of the few institutions that provided such services during this pandemic. It also enhances the patient experience with the hospital, provides a sense of pride, and boosts the morale of the medical team who developed the project. It has evolved to include clinical specialty and subspecialty services.

Background and Problem

Before the pandemic, the hospital caters to a daily average of five hundred (500) to six hundred (600) outpatients in a limited single-floor outpatient building that houses several specialty and subspecialty clinics. Notifiable risks include overcrowding, poor ventilation, long queues, prolonged turnaround time, inefficiency, and patient discomfort.

As the nation transitions into the “new normal,” following the Department of Health (DOH) and the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the basic minimum health standards, hospital operations must be streamlined to ensure the safety not only of the patients but also all health-care workers and the stakeholders who will visit the hospital for non-medical concerns.

Public health information is clearly and regularly given. ITRMC wants to ensure that even the most vulnerable population seeking its services will not contract the virus and other emerging infectious diseases inside hospital premises.

Solution and Impact

Last 8 June 2020, the hospital reopened its Outpatient Service, considering the five pillars of preparedness defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force: reducing vulnerability, reducing transmission, reducing contact, reducing the duration of infection, and governance and accountability in the streamlining of its operations. The initiatives include using the conceptual framework of integrated pre-hospital coordination, departmentalized and facilitated consultation, and post-hospital coordination and follow-up.

In the pre-hospital coordination, one platform used was the online consultation via e-Konsulta, which was used during the height of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) beginning 31 March 2020. The basic principle of e-Konsulta is to provide health access using information technology via chat box through Facebook. They used it as a mechanism for surge management and to assist a patient where transportation and mobility are a concern. Another pre-hospital coordination is via call and car navigation, used by the Operation Center under Marvin Munar’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

The entire hospital’s internal business processes are currently being reviewed across all levels to address issues on quality, particularly in the following areas: safety, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and people-centered care. All quality procedures across divisions, departments, offices, and units are in the process of review and revision with an emphasis on understanding the changes and considering the different internal and external issues brought about by the pandemic. This will be a big step in identifying mitigating actions addressing risks and using opportunities for improvement.

The post-hospital coordination with all health care facilities, including institutions involved in public health, will be strengthened by establishing a unified database of information technology, capacity-building activities, and financial integration embedded in the Universal Health Care Act. The impact is the improvement in hospital operations, thus ensuring delivery of quality care along with the following major areas: safety, effectiveness, efficiency, equitability, timeliness, and people-centeredness.

Milestones/Next Steps

Before the official opening of the OPD, a two (2)-day dry run was held to observe for process flow, compliance with basic health standards, avoiding overcrowding, turnaround time, and compliance with infection control and triage protocols. The dry run result and the effect after less than a month of implementation will be reported under the performance measures and impact.

Congruent with this, the Operation Center has launched a data-collection system on pre-hospital coordination relative to the operation of the Health Care Provider Network with the Local Government of La Union. They will use the information captured as a way forward to improve pre-hospital coordination not only among healthcare facilities but also with the community at large.

In the same way, the data encoding system was reviewed and revised to strengthen intrahospital or interdepartmental referral and communication to improve the Outpatient consultation for follow-up care after hospital discharge.

The ITRMC is planning to enhance further and improve the technology to include a unified database sharing of electronic medical records with their existing partners in the province-wide Health Care Provider Network, including but not limited to Provincial and District Hospitals and Rural Health Units. This will be an excellent opportunity to further gather health information for translational research to improve healthcare service delivery and partnership.

Organization

Department of Science and Technology – CALABARZON

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Citizens / Customers; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Operations

Year Implemented

2011 to present

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

The Department of Science and Technology – CALABARZON (DOST-CALABARZON) fosters an innovative and serviceable environment. With this, back in 2011, the agency’s Management Information Systems (MIS) Unit initiated the development of the Smart Office Systems, a group of internally developed information systems that aim to boost efficiency by innovating internal processes and service delivery through digitization.

Background and Problem

The development of the information systems was initially due to the Office of Civil Defense IV-A’s request for assistance in crafting an information system for the dissemination of disaster-related bulletins. At that time, the MIS unit of the DOST-CALABARZON was just beginning to gather a team of ICT experts. Upon delivering OCD’s request and after a thorough evaluation, the evolution of the agency’s information systems started.

Below are the other challenges and opportunities that the agency considered in creating and implementing this best practice:

Human Resource
  • More than 70% of staff are millennials, generally technology-savvy
  • About 80% of the workforce are on a WFH arrangement during the ECQ and GCQ period
  • About 30% of staff are baby boomers who may have problems coping with the new technologies
Resistance to change
  • Legal adherence and compliance with new policies and laws
eGovernance
  • EO No. 2, series of 2016, Freedom of Information
  • Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012
  • Transparency Seal
  • Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018
  • House Bill 6623 or the proposed New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act
Technological
  • Obsolescence of previous versions of information systems
  • Coping with emerging technologies
  • Internet being a disruptive technology, changed the way of doing business
Social
  • Effects of COVID-19 pandemic and Taal volcanic eruption on working
  • Social distancing, mobility restrictions, health measures, social activities, etc.,

Solution and Impact

The best practice employs internally developed information systems to monitor activities and evaluate outputs/results, thereby impacting the organization’s productivity, transparency, and resiliency.

The systems development follows the usual Software Development Life Cycle process, but the following approaches were practiced by the MIS Unit that ensured successful internal implementation and replicability for systems adopters.

  1. Need-Based Solutions — Identification of problems and opportunities for improvement in processes to develop high-impact application systems;
  2. Top-Management Commitment — Top management’s approval and support establishes responsibility, accountability, and political will;
  3. Generic Info-systems Approach — Core functionalities suited to the basic requirements of DOST ROs and other government agencies;
  4. Collaboration Mindset — Consultation with system/process owners and project partners to ascertain and integrate their needs into the ICT projects;
  5. Standardized Programming Strategy — Uniformity in the use of industry-standard programming languages, tools, frameworks, and models for easier systems development, updating, and customization;
  6. Future Proofing Considerations — Usage of the latest versions of system development software to prolong software life;
  7. Iteration Method —The concept that all systems are not bug-free and that continuous enhancement is a necessity.

Milestones/Next Steps

Since 2011, DOST-CALABARZON has already produced 12 information systems that benefit DOST-CALABARZON alongside 112 agency adopters (39 national government agencies, 49 local government units, 21 academic institutions, two private organizations, and one public organization).

The results and impact of the Smart Office Systems have further been recognized through the awards given to the organization, which highlighted this best practice. These were the following awards:

  1. Very Innovative Person Award from the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) 2016
  2. Civil Service Commission (CSC) Pagasa Award 2017
  3. Philippine Quality Award 2017 Level 1 Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management conferred by PRRD
  4. Innovation Award received from DOST-CALABARZON PRAISE Committee 2018
  5. Gawad Kalasag Award from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD IV-A)