Information Technology: tool for wider public service

By: Cristifan Toring

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, through its Fisheries Information Management Center (FIMC), strengthens provision of public service through maximization of digital presence over the internet.

Through the enactment of Electronic Commerce Act of 1998 (RA 8792) and the ongoing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives of the government, hundreds of websites have been monitored and developed in the recent years. The law further recognizes ICT as a very powerful tool for nation-building and development.

Following this act, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Website Committee set standards in the development of regional website content and template design which is being transmitted to regional offices. To capacitate regional FIMCs in the management, technical and operational aspects, the BFAR-CAR through the bureau's FIMC, conducted an initial training workshop on website content and administration at Eurotel Hotel, Abanao Extension, Baguio City on June 1-6, 2015.

The development and setting up of the bureau's regional websites aims to feature accomplishments, programs, advisories, projects, policy initiatives, and other fishery related activities which serves as window among stakeholder and beneficiaries.

BFAR-CAR Regional Director, Lilibeth L. Signey, Ph.D., CESO V, stressed the importance of communication through the internet emphasizing the faster conveyance of information to clients. She also pointed out the relevance of internet to education, finance and marketing, health care, and security purposes specifically in facilitating the transaction among government agencies.

Further, the creation of website is aligned with the Regional Information, Education and Communication efforts with BFAR's national initiative in promoting the bureau over the internet. What makes the bureau's website essentially relevant is its ability to transcend geographical boundaries and allow accessibility with regard to the bureau's history, services, programs, and activities which may cater to the needs and interests of viewers.

To establish pertinence and reliability among audience, regional Information Technology staff and Information Officers from different regional offices were equipped and capacitated through series of hands-on trainings.

Mr. Zaldy Perez, bureau's OIC-Fisheries Information Management Center, admitted that dealing with the system is quite demanding but with strong determination, he assured that skills will be enhanced. He also emphasized the relevant website features which must be considered such as confidentiality, reliability, security, and integrity as he remarked that the maintenance of website must be uniform among regional bureaus. Director Asis G. Perez wishes that every region be able to manage their own websites effectively and efficiently.

Relative to this, lectures on website development included transparency seal and PhilGEPS connoting government transparency wherein all financial and public information can be accessed easily and readily.

Hence, the uniformity and reliability expected of each regional website is a highly feasible aim through collective efforts and ideas.

Participants of the training workshop are Information Technology Staff and Information Staff from 15 regions nationwide except Region 6. For CAR, Mr. Arnold Paleng and Mr. Albert Palma, FIMC in charged and Ms. Rodelyn Foronda, Information Officer, are those who participated the workshop.