The Philipinnes Government portal, www.gov.ph, is up for a redesign and government is set to bid out this project to the private sector, Commissioner Angelo Timoteo M. Diaz de Rivera of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) has said.
Government also plans to “commercialize” the government portal, meaning that it will start paying for the maintenance of the website, Diaz De Rivera said. Private sector volunteers have maintained www.gov.ph for free for several years.
“Instead of it being a pro bono project, we want government to pay for it. We now got funding,” said Diaz de Rivera, concurrently the CICT commissioner for e-government development and director general of the National Computer Center (NCC).
The CICT has allocated 110 million pesos for the redesign and development of a payment gateway for the government portal, which will soon incorporate all government-related services.
Sixty million pesos was allocated to the Development Bank of the Philippines-Data
Center Inc. (DBP-DCI) to develop the Philippine government portal e-payment system last year,
The NCC signed a contract with the DBP-DCI and Fujitsu Philippines for the development of the e-payment gateway. Diaz de Rivera said last year that the e-payment system is expected to launch in February 2006.
The United Nations' 2005 Global e-Government Readiness Report recently cited www.gov.ph as one of the more sophisticated government portals in the Southeast Asian region The Philippines was also among the top countries in South and Eastern Asia in terms of e-government readiness. With improved government presence on the Web and a pool of English speaking human capital, the country was ranked fourth in the region, next to South Korea, Singapore, and Japan in the South and Eastern Asia regions, the report showed.
Diaz de Rivera said last week that the remaining 50 million pesos will be used to develop the “front-end” of the government portal, starting with the redesign of the website.
A bid for the government portal's redesign was done last year but was declared a failure. The NCC has scheduled the pre-qualification of bidders on February 14.
The current content of the existing government portal will be transferred to the new portal. “We hope this [will] be done within the year,” the government official added.