City Government of San Fernando, La Union

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Operations:

Year Implemented

2009 to present

This is a GBPR entry


The Document Tracking System (DTS) aims to track and capture the responsiveness of the city government in its communications and financial process dealings using barcode solutions. Moreover, the application has features such as providing clients temporary access accounts to monitor the status of their requests and a dashboard containing performance indicators like “completed,” “ongoing,” and “delinquent.” This dashboard also connects to a system of rewards and incentives for employees.

The results of the project suggest that personnel productivity has improved from satisfactory to very satisfactory. Moreover, there has also been a significant decrease in the processing time per transaction and instilled discipline and standards in the institution.

Background and Problem

Documents, whether electronic or paper, are an essential component of any institution. However, the manual and paper-based processing, filing, and tracking of documents can be complicated, especially when there are multiple receiving channels. The manual filing of documents is also time-consuming, wherein each office organizes, stores, and maintains its files. It can also be hard to track down the location of documents if no document trail or recording is available to validate their whereabouts. Overall, the productivity of employees and departments is slowed down by having to spend a great deal of time dealing with a paper filing system.

And especially for the City Government of San Fernando, La Union, turnaround time is long against the standard processing time under Republic Act 9485. A case in point is the city government’s processing time of purchase requests; it is classified under simple transactions and yet it takes almost two (2) weeks to run the whole course.

Another limitation of the manual filing of documents is that the management of offices will also have no basis to validate submitted performance reports due to the absence of an accurate performance recording system. Moreover, given the manual nature of the process, external clients are not usually updated about the status of their transactions with the city government; clients would still need to call or visit the relevant departments to follow up on their concerns.

San Fernando Mayor Hermenegildo “Dong” A. Gualberto, together with Vice Mayor Alfredo Pablo R. Ortega, City Councilor Hon. Luzan Ortega-Valero, and City Administrator Ernesto V. Datuin signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Provincial Government of Benguet headed by Hon. Melchor D. Diclas, MD for the replication of the Document Tracking System of the City.

Solution and Impact

In compliance with Republic Act 9485, known as The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, the City Government of San Fernando established the Document Tracking System (DTS) in 2009 to institute transparency in administrative affairs and resource management, as well as improve business transactions within the City Government.

The DTS is an in-house, end-to-end application for processing and tracking documents with central electronic archives. The application captures the real-time status updates of transactions. It can capture a document’s historical processing timeline, including time and date of receipt or release, persons in charge, and time spent processing documents in a particular office. It also has an email notification feature that provides a temporary access account for clients to check the real-time progress report of their requests online or transactions with the city government, enabling them to save time and money.

As a supplement to the DTS, the city also established a central receiving station under the Office of the City Administrator to manage all incoming and outgoing documents. It is responsible for capturing document profiles, managing electronic archives, and forwarding emails to external clients.

The results evidenced by the customer feedback indicators of the city suggest that personnel productivity has improved from satisfactory to very satisfactory. There is also a significant decrease in the processing time per transaction and instilled discipline and standards in the institution.

Milestones/Next Steps

The implementation of the DTS Project was covered by an Executive Order and registered under the Integrated Management System (ISO 9001:2008) in 2010. Moreover, the project is a recipient of the 2013 eGov Awards for LGUs for the “Best in eGovernance Customer Empowerment” Category by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). And in 2014, the World eGovernment Organization awarded the same project as the Most Promising eGov Prize for Efficiency during the 2nd WeGO Awards in Chengdu, China.

The city government was also invited to present the project in several national ICT forums and this led to numerous benchmarking activities by other LGUs and NGAs in the City of San Fernando to improve their document management. Notably, four institutions replicated the program, including the Municipality of Bacnotan in 2018, Zamboanga City through the Zamboanga ICT Council in 2019, the Provincial Government of Benguet in 2019, and the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office I in 2020. Moreover, the Municipality of Naguilian, the City of Borongan in Samar, and the Ilocos Training and Medical Center have recently submitted their letter of intent to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the city to replicate the same.