The City Government of Cagayan de Oro Assessment Department implemented several best practices to modernize its office systems, including creating an Internal Information Technology-Geographic Information System (IT-GIS) Unit. The digitization of all existing maps using the GIS made daily processes easier and quicker. The Property Assessment Information System Integrated Real Property Tax System data and GIS maps, making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. The archiving system digitized all past and existing records and documents for quick access. The document tracking system helps keep track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents. Online platforms and tools, such as Facebook, Messenger, Google Drive, and the upcoming Assessor’s Kiosk, were also utilized to provide convenient and accessible services for clients. The main challenge was minimizing dependence on external support, which was addressed by creating the Internal IT-GIS Unit.
The main productivity challenge addressed by the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department’s best practices is the need to streamline and modernize their office systems. Before implementing these best practices, the department relied heavily on manual processes and outdated technology, resulting in slow and inefficient operations. By digitizing their maps and implementing GIS, the department managed to automate several processes, such as property verifications, ownership verification, and property location verification. This made daily processes quicker and easier, resulting in faster and more efficient service delivery for their clients. The creation of the Property Assessment Information System and the archiving system enhanced the department’s productivity by providing quick and easy access to past and existing records and documents. The document tracking system also helped improve productivity by keeping track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents, reducing the likelihood of delays and errors.
The solutions implemented by the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department’s best practices effectively address the challenge of streamlining and modernizing their office systems. The creation of the internal IT-GIS Unit, which digitized all existing maps using GIS, allowed the department to automate several processes and make daily operations easier and quicker. This was achieved by enabling easier updates and additions of new maps, making initial assessments of previously undeclared properties without physical fieldwork, and utilizing additional computer applications for processing GIS data.
The browser-based Property Assessment Information System also integrated Real Property Tax System data and GIS maps, making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. The archiving system also allowed for quick access to past and existing records and documents, reducing time spent searching for information. The document tracking system helped improve productivity by keeping track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents, reducing the likelihood of delays and errors.
The project’s innovative features include the Assessor’s Kiosk, which will be set up in an accessible location to provide clients with certifications, true copies of documents, and maps without the need for face-to-face interactions. This feature is particularly useful during the pandemic, as it promotes contactless transactions. Another innovative feature is the online implementation of the document tracking system, which allows clients to check the status of their transactions from their phones or computers and be notified as soon as their documents are approved and ready for release. This feature promotes convenient and accessible service delivery, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital age.
Productivity Gains, Outcomes, and Impact
The City Government of Cagayan de Oro Assessment Department’s best practices have resulted in measurable productivity gains and outcomes. The implementation of the GIS and other modern technology has significantly improved the speed and accuracy of the department’s operations. The digitization of all existing maps, for instance, has made it easier to update and add new ones, resulting in a more streamlined process. According to the department’s staff, this has reduced the time needed to perform such tasks by almost half, allowing them to focus on other essential work.
The Property Assessment Information System has also improved productivity by making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. According to Engr. Noel O. Moralde of the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department, the system has reduced the time it takes to process these tasks by up to 60 percent. Moreover, the archiving system has allowed for quick access to past and existing records and documents, reducing time spent searching for information. This has reduced the time needed to retrieve documents by up to 40 percent.
The document tracking system has also improved productivity by reducing the likelihood of delays and errors. The system has reduced the average processing time for transactions by up to 30 percent, allowing them to keep track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents at any given time.
The positive impact of these best practices can be seen in the improved service delivery to the department’s clients, as evidenced by the reduced transaction processing times. The Assessor’s Kiosk is expected to further improve service delivery by providing clients with convenient and accessible access to essential documents and information.
Lessons Learned and Challenges in Implementing the Intervention
While the innovation led to significant improvements in the city government’s productivity and service delivery, challenges were still encountered during the implementation phase. One major challenge was the resistance to change from some employees who were used to the old ways of doing things. To address this, the department conducted training and information campaigns to emphasize the benefits of the new system and get buy-in from all staff.
Another challenge was the initial investment needed to implement the new system. This included purchasing of both hardware and software and conducting trainings. To overcome this challenge, the department allocated resources and secured funding from the local government.
There is still potential for further improvement in the system. For instance, the Property Assessment Information System could be available online to clients outside the local area network. The Assessor’s Kiosk could also be expanded to provide additional services to clients.
Overall, the best practices of the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department provide valuable lessons for other local governments looking to improve their productivity and service delivery. Key lessons include the importance of buy-in from all stakeholders, the need for adequate funding and resources, and the potential for continuous improvement.
Moralde, N. O. (2021, December 7). [Online interview].
Republic Act No. 7160. (1991). Local Government Code of 1991. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 87(44), 10150-10223.