The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) may have a solution to the hours many citizens spend to get their government forms processed. Rappler reports that DOST is planning to integrate all government websites into a single portal that allows citizens to access and pay for their services in a few clicks. The website will most likely be found on “www.gov.ph”, and is scheduled for launch “well before 2020”.
Gov.ph might be transforming into a unified government website portal before 2020.
A user-centric project
In a statement to Rappler, DOST Information and Communication Technology Undersecretary Louis Casambre said that the portal will be “citizen-centric, not agency-centric.” This is a smart move, given how people have become more particular about user experience.
The portal will include “everything from getting a driver’s license to applying for an Environmental Compliance Certificate to put up a resort in Palawan.” The goal is to make government service processes more efficient, and to encourage citizens to engage the government better.
One account for all services
The portal will feature a “single sign-on” feature, which will eliminate the need to visit different government agency websites for different services. These services will also be categorized based on the user. For example, services for businessmen, citizens, and government employees will be on different tabs.
New payment system
A new payment program, called “PHP”, will be used to collect payments (such as processing fees and taxes) from citizens. This program will be used on a few existing government websites this June.
One of the most difficult challenges developers face in a project as massive as this is consolidating the different websites into a single domain and server. Seeing as thousands, if not millions, of citizens will be relying on this portal, it will need a powerful server and a large amount of bandwidth to accommodate them.
The website will also need tight security and regular maintenance to prevent hacking and data loss. Storing all these government websites, data, and forms in a single website could make it more vulnerable to attack without the proper safeguards in place. The developers for this project need to take extra precautions, especially with many hacking groups have been targeting government websites as a means of protesting against the government. Casambre points out, however, having everything in one place makes it easier to monitor the system and to fix vulnerabilities.
If this project is executed successfully, it will definitely be a welcome relief for everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing what the development and design team behind this project can do with such a huge and important task.