The Cagayan de Oro City Government is changing the game in serving persons with disabilities (PWDs). The Cagayan de Oro City Government has introduced an online PWD identification (ID) card application platform that allows them and their constituents to save time, effort, and other resources. The online platform specifically aims to provide convenience to PWDs. Recognizing that mobility is a primary challenge for PWDs in the city, the CDO City Government introduced the system in 2018 to offer a hassle-free application process.
The online application aims to make the system more convenient and efficient for persons with disabilities, including those who have developmental, cognitive, mental, intellectual, physical, and sensory impairments. Prior to its implementation, Cagayan de Oro City used manual processes which resulted in pending online applications and longer processing time. Through the implementation of the PWD ID online application, the system provided persons with disabilities with easy access to application reducing mobility and face-to-face interactions.
The PWD ID online application system enhanced the overall experience of stakeholders in the application process and helped the City Government achieve more with its resources.
The Cagayan de Oro PWD ID Online Application addresses the challenge of the manual and time-consuming process of PWD ID application. Prior to the implementation of the online application system, the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) in Cagayan de Oro relied on a manual ID application process, which proved to be inefficient and resource-intensive.
The manual process required PWDs to physically appear in person to process their application, causing inconvenience and difficulty for individuals with disabilities. This not only hindered their ability to complete ongoing and pending applications but also discouraged more PWDs from registering and applying for identification and benefits.
Moreover, the slow processing time and outdated system further exacerbated the challenge. PWDs had to endure waiting periods of around a week just to have their IDs processed and released, resulting in significant delays and frustration.
The Cagayan de Oro PWD ID Online Application addresses the challenge of manual, delayed, and time-consuming processes by providing innovative solutions that streamline the application process and enhance accessibility for PWDs. Those who need to renew their PWD IDs can also use the online platform. PWDs need to renew their IDs every five years.
The Cagayan de Oro PWD ID Online Application also caters to a wide range of disabilities by accommodating individuals with developmental, cognitive, mental, intellectual, physical, and sensory impairments. The platform is designed to be inclusive and user-friendly, ensuring that PWDs of different abilities can navigate and complete the application process with ease.
The PWD ID online application addresses the challenge of time-consuming ID application in Cagayan de Oro City. The intervention has the following key features worth emulating by other LGUs:
- Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for PWDs to navigate and complete the application process.
- The digital document submission allows applicants to upload digital copies of the required documents, such as medical certificates and identification proofs, directly on the platform.
- The platform ensures the data privacy and security of the applicants’ personal information and documents. Measures are in place to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches. This allows PWDs to securely upload attachments for verification which reduces effort, saves resources and assures the safety of documents.
- The establishment of district offices enables the CSWDO to reach out to more persons with disabilities since not all of the target beneficiaries have access to reliable Internet access. Thus, they established district officers that can help in reaching out to more of their constituents in the city’s 80 barangays. The establishment of the district offices was also instrumental in assisting more constituents who wanted to apply to the online PWD ID platform.
- Gone are the days when the CSWDO staff would have to go through all of the manual submissions of PWD ID applications with faster verification of submissions. Since most of the applications are now lodged online, the CSWDO staff can now review the applications from the backend without having to print all of the documents. This also helps in reducing the risk of committing human error.
- A convenient delivery service allows PWDs to receive their ID at home, especially for beneficiaries with mobility challenges.
Productivity Gains, Outcomes, and Impact
The implementation of the Cagayan de Oro PWD ID Online Application system has resulted in significant productivity gains and positive outcomes for both the government and PWDs. By digitizing the application process, the system has improved CSWDO’s efficiency and made its services more accessible to PWDs.
Since its launch in 2018, 660 PWDs who applied online have been successfully issued with IDs. One of the primary productivity gains of the online application system is the reduction in administrative workload and processing time for government personnel. With the online platform handling the submission and verification of documents, CSWDO staff can devote more time to other important tasks such as assessments and field visits rather than spending much time on tedious paperwork.
Maria Liza Corpuz, CSWDO PWD Affairs Officer, highlighted the importance of implementing the PWD ID online application, saying that mobility is one of the main problems of PWDs. This is on top of the tedious process of preparing the documents that they need to attach to their PWD ID applications. Thus, the CSWDO tapped their Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) staff to help create an innovative platform that would allow their office to make the process easier and more convenient for their constituents.
Furthermore, the PWD ID Online Application hastens the entire process–from application to release. From around one week, the processing time has been shortened to three days, after which the IDs are promptly made available for pickup or delivery. Cagayan de Oro City, which aims to deliver citizen-centric services, extends delivery options to accommodate the requirements of every individual with disabilities. Ms. Corpuz shared that the CSWDO plans to strengthen its advocacy for inclusivity.
The Cagayan de Oro City Government not only prioritized the innovative features but has also adopted a proactive approach by establishing district offices in each of the 80 barangays. This move has helped bring services closer to the residents, ensuring convenient access for all. The district offices actively engage with the diverse needs and concerns of the citizens, ensuring the delivery of efficient and seamless services. The computer systems in these district offices are synchronized, and there are focal points per office to make the process easier and more efficient.
The CSWD Office of the Cagayan de Oro took the initiative to conceptualize the entire project and strongly advocates for the replication of the online application system by other LGUs. This recommendation stems from the recognition of the project’s ability to streamline government processes, saving valuable time and fostering a seamless administrative system. The success and efficiency achieved through the online application project serve as a compelling example for other local government units to follow suit.
The online application system offers convenience and accessibility to PWDs. By eliminating the need for physical visits to government offices, individuals with disabilities can complete the application process from the comfort of their homes or with the assistance of caregivers. This reduces barriers and improves the overall experience for PWDs, who may face mobility challenges or other difficulties in accessing government services.
Emma Olandria, 58, recently tried the PWD online application and said she finds the process fast and convenient. She shared she received her card only after 3 working days without having to go to the city hall.
Faye Padaligan, a legal assistant at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Cagayan de Oro, also applied for a PWD ID for her son and received the ID in less than a week. She said she appreciates that the application can be done online, which is helpful for working parents like her.
Lessons Learned and Challenges in Implementing the Intervention
The implementation of the PWD ID Online Application made valuable insights for future enhancements. One crucial lesson learned is the importance of strong access to internet connection, adequate allocation of manpower and resources, and adopting a structured approach to data management. A notable challenge encountered by CSWD was the occurrence of incorrect or incomplete information provided by applicants. To address this issue, establishing district offices per barangay and conducting sensitivity training for individuals with disabilities proved to be an effective approach. However, it is recommended that CSWD expands these sensitivity training initiatives to cater to the diverse categories of disabilities, ensuring a more comprehensive and inclusive approach.
Another lesson learned is the need for continuous scanning and assessment of each PWD sector’s qualification. The CSWDO may need to step up its information drive on who actually qualifies for a PWD ID. About 3,200 applicants have sent in their documents online and 660 were considered qualified–a success rate of 20%. An information drive is also an opportunity to inform other PWDs to apply for their PWD IDs online.
The Cagayan de Oro City Government also needs to address technical issues and internet connectivity to further enhance the system. Establishing a strong technical support system and improving connectivity can serve as alternative solutions for areas with limited internet access, guaranteeing a smooth and uninterrupted PWD ID online application process.
Andref de Veas, IT Officer and Programmer of CSWDO, is also aware of the areas of improvement that their team needs to work on. Mr. de Veas, a PWD himself, knows how the slow internet connection hampers the application of some of their beneficiaries.
He added that there might be a need to acquire a machine that can automate the production of IDs that can further help reduce the turnaround time. Currently, the CSWDO needs to lay out each ID before it can be printed.
Furthermore, the implementation process should include thorough training and capacity-building for government personnel involved in processing PWD ID applications. This would help them become well-versed in the online system, understand the eligibility criteria, and handle any technical issues that may arise.
The PWD ID online application is a big leap for the Cagayan de Oro City Government. While the intervention required investments at the onset, the City Government and its people are certainly reaping the benefits through improved productivity and more accessible social services.
CDO, R. (2018, October 13). Cagayan de Oro, 2nd Place SA Best in Customer Empowerment Award. Radio Mindanao Network. https://rmn.ph/cagayan-de-oro-2nd-place-sa-best-in-customer-empowerment-award/
Maandig, E. (2018, October 15). CDO wins ICT Award for PWD online enlistment system. Philippine News Agency. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1051140