TECHNOLOGY made the world smaller. At the tip of our fingertips, we are able to gather information and discover new developments. This is also thanks to internet connectivity that gives us access to a large repository of information.
As time progresses, so should the government keep-up with the advancement in technology. Here in Davao Region, local government units (LGUs) have already started implementing digital solutions to help it in its processes.
While there have already been efforts to digitize government processes and systems before the pandemic, the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has also triggered an unprecedented demand for more digital solutions that will allow LGUs to cope with the pandemic.
Covid-19 Heat Map
When the Covid-19 pandemic reached Davao Region in late March this year, the City Government of Mati in Davao Oriental was one of those LGUs that stepped up its contact tracing efforts to detect individuals suspected of or confirmed to be infected with the Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the Covid-19.
The mobile application Covid-19 Heat Map, which was developed by Artificial Intelligence PH (AI.PH), is being used by the Mati City Incident Management Team (IMT) to map the locations of probable, suspected, and Covid-19 patients. This system can help the city government in coming with a clearer picture of the Covid-19 situation in a certain area.
The mobile app shows a map scattered with colored-coded dots to represent an individual person.
The suspected cases are colored yellow, orange for probable cases, red for Covid-19 patients, green for those who have recovered, white for those who were cleared of the disease, and black for those who died caused by the virus.
The heat map can be accessed online but the complete information will only be available to the members of the IMT to protect the privacy of suspected cases, probable cases, and Covid-19 patients.
AI.PH developer Al Francis Delagua said the ground personnel of the local government unit (LGU) such as the barangay health worker will collect and enter the information of the individuals, who may be infected by the disease, into the app and it will automatically reflect in the systems of the IMT.
“The information would help the authorities monitor the movement of the [suspect and probable cases] at the same time make the community aware of their locations for others to have self-awareness and take extra precautions. Our goal is a centralized database and heat map for all records,” Delagua said.
Covid-19 Contact Tracing System (DCCTS)
The Provincial Government of Davao del Norte also launched its own contact tracing system, the DCCTS. This electronic tracking system was launched to help the LGU in its Covid-19 contact tracing, as each person is required to bring their QR code when entering an establishment.
Davao del Norte Governor Edwin I. Jubahib announced the implementation of the “no QR Code, no transaction” policy beginning August 17. Those without QR codes will not be permitted entry and will be advised to register for one.
Provincial Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force Incident Commander, Dr. Alfredo Lacerona said this will bring efficiency when contact tracing those who might have direct contact with a Covid-19 patient.
“All people who went here now, we can immediately determine what time, what day they reported, they will be observed and will be included in the PUM (suspected cases),” Lacerona said in a public forum.
Through this, the Task Force will be able to locate the travel history of an infected person and identify those who may have been in close contact or exposed to that person.
In the past couple of months, the local government in the province has spent time registering residents and distributing QR codes.
DDO Online Bagsakan
Farmers are also not spared from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the demand for food, external factors caused by the pandemic are also giving problems to farmers.
This is the reason why the provincial government of Davao de Oro launched an online platform called the “Online Bagsakan” for producers and wholesalers where they can buy and sell their farm products without going to the market in the area. Fisherfolk may also sell their products through this online platform.
The program aims to promote and market locally-produced products in a bid to help ensure food security in the province. Two options are available for those who wish to register.
“This would also be a great help to micro, small, and medium enterprises, all while maximizing social distancing measures,” the provincial government said in a statement.
For online registration, they will be directed through a portal link via bit.ly/ddobagsakan while for offline registration, they will be given hotline numbers of their respective Municipal Agriculturist Office (Magro).
Negotiations may then happen offline between the producers and wholesalers as to the quantity, repeat orders, prices, payment, and the likes.
The wholesalers should buy in volume for trading purposes and distribution to retailers. The provincial government has discouraged bulk purchases for personal consumption.
Buyers may not be necessarily from Davao de Oro, but this project hopes to prioritize wholesalers from this province. Those who will use the platform are also required to have a business and the mayor’s permit.
It is uncertain when this pandemic will end. However, government transactions must remain unhampered.
With this, the province of Davao de Oro launched the “DDO iPortal”, a mobile application that features all provincial and other local government unit services that can be accessed online.
The provincial government seeks to ensure that no face-to-face interaction takes place in most government transactions during the pandemic. This will also link the provincial government and the LGUs to constituents abroad.
“As the world currently experiences the pandemic, individuals worldwide start to embrace the new normal. The face-to-face interaction is now done virtually by applications available in the online world,” the provincial government said.
DDO iPortal has major features making the Provincial Capitol accessible in just a single tap.
Those using the mobile application will be able to view and print daily time records, news updates and other initiatives led by the provincial government, live news coverage or replay segments, access to emergency response directory, and databank of all executive orders.
On top of these, the app also features a virtual map of Davao de Oro showcasing the various destinations in its 11 municipalities.
The City Government of Davao is set to launch a unified identification card (ID) and automated teller machine (ATM) card for Dabawenyos aimed at promoting efficiency, transparency, and seamless delivery of public service.
Called as Dabawenyo Card, it is a social service card, which will be useful especially in times of disaster and calamity, especially when there is a state of public health emergency like Covid-19.
“This card aims to support the government in providing and extending social services to all Dabawenyos in the form of calamity and financial, as well as emergency cash assistance," City Information Technology Center System Analyst Sharon Lei Lomantas said in an interview.
Lomantas said the card aims to support the government in providing and extending social services to all Dabawenyos, as well as emergency cash assistance, in a more efficient, transparent, and convenient way.
The local government piloted the use of the Dabawenyo Card late June this year for the 12,000 city government officials and employees, including job order and contract of service. They will be registered online.
Lomantas said the registration process will include geotagging the residence of the card holder. The location is vital information for emergency and disaster management in case of natural disasters and other calamities.
Lomantas also said the card will also serve as an attendance and ATM card for government workers.
"The card has an equipped EMV chip, similar to ATM cards, wherein you can have a financial transaction from the government using this card," she said.
For now, Lomantas said the city government is still finalizing the workflow system in the card's transaction, wherein they wanted to harmonize it within the government employees for now.
Intelligent Community Based Monitoring System (ICBMS)
ICBMS is primarily a household survey that involves an organized technology-based system of collecting, processing, and validation of data gathering.
The survey aims to diagnose the extent of poverty at the local level, identify beneficiaries who are eligible to avail assistance from the city during disaster or calamities, and assess the impact of policies and programs implemented by the local government.
The goal is to establish a centralized data-driven platform for local governments. This is to push and make an impact on sustainable development by having more accurate and quality data.
The city government through the Davao City Planning and Development Office started the household survey in the identified 34 high-risk barangays of the city for ICBMS beginning September 3, 2020.