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


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
  • 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
  • Obsolescence of previous versions of information systems
  • Coping with emerging technologies
  • Internet being a disruptive technology, changed the way of doing business
  • 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)