Toral: E-government-A A +A
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
OVER the weekend, I found myself in a situation – I needed to renew my passport because it was already expired. I visited http://passport.com.ph to start the process and book an appointment.
I must admit that the site can be quite intimidating with all of its warnings. You have to read the site content twice in order to know what to do next.
As you go through the process with multiple warnings and reminders for each page, it
feels like the site doesn’t really want you to process your booking online. You may be better off doing it over the phone.
Finally got myself booked for March 25 as I decided to start ignoring the warnings and just kept clicking next until I was done.
Part of me is wondering why I can’t just process everything online, without a personal appearance. I have been through two renewals already. The last renewal I made was in January 2008 and this only required an email, which was very convenient.
Perhaps the website was not really a top priority due to its conversion performance.
With the experience that users go through, I can’t blame them.
Note that this column is not about blaming anyone but encouraging parties involved in the project to share improvement plans for the site and when it can be seen.
I think the DFA and its partners should set targets in terms of sign-up conversions.
If airline bookings now reach up to 80 percent already among Filipino travelers, setting a high target is not unreasonable at all.
Being satisfied with its present state deprives the DFA of maximizing potential revenues.
If there are efforts to improve the site, they can also offer a sneak preview and let people give suggestions on how the experience can be improved.
I have high hopes that e-government in President Aquino’s Administration will be aggressive and officials will want to do things right.
The signing of EO 55, National Cash Disbursement System Project, MITHI initiative,
National Payroll System, ePayment for Cashless Government Transactions are nice to hear about.
I just hope we get to feel that very soon and see the E-Government Fund be spent on projects that will allow government to do e-commerce in rendering public service, which was the basis for its creation in the first place.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2013.