THE commitment of innovative local government leaders in designing and deploying digital government systems is truly inspiring. This year, 109 systems made it to the finals of the Digital Governance Awards (DGA) 2021. A total of 66 local government units (LGUs) consisting of cities, municipalities and provinces from all over the county stepped up to challenge.

In 2011, as president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), I worked together with other officials with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to create the annual awards to recognize excellence in local governance using information and communications technology (ICT). It became Digital Cities PH Awards in 2018 when the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)

Entries in five categories are evaluated based on innovation management, impact, extent of use of information and communications technology (ICT), replication potential and sustainability.

The Best in Business Empowerment Award (G2B) recognizes platforms that improve the business environment of the local government. For the city level, winners are Tienda Ilagan of Ilagan City, Province of Isabela (1st), Electronic Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS) of the City of Manila (2nd), and Mandaue City (3rd).

For the municipality level, the winners are eWaterworks of Libertad, Province of Antique (1st), Taytay Rizal Market Collection System (2nd), and the eBPLS of Bongao, Province of Tawi Tawi (3rd).

For platforms and systems to improve public services with direct impact to constituents or the Best in Customer Empowerment Award (G2C), the winners in the city level are Connection for Inclusion Project by the City of Manila (1st), Automated Inspection Audit System of Quezon City (2nd), and Valenzuela City Live Online Streaming School (3rd).

For the municipality level, the winners are Early Warning System of Tuburan, Province of Cebu (1st), Auto-BAC 1.0 of Bacnotan, Province La Union (2nd), and iNET Library with Tech4Ed of Mangaldan, Province of Pangasinan (3rd).

For systems that integrate data and platforms within the local governments to improve delivery of services or the Best in Interoperability Award (G2G), the winners for the provincial level are the Socio-Economic Profile System of the Province of Bulacan (1st), Napanam Contact Tracer System of the Province of La Union (2nd), and the Household Profiling and Needs Assessment System of the Province of Davao de Oro (3rd).

Winners for the city level are DocuTracker of Baguio City (1st), Covid-19 Testing Center Web Lab Information System of the City of Manila (1st), Project ODeSSEE (Optimization of Decision Support System For Effective E-governance) of Cauayan City (2nd), and Taxpayers e-Payment Portal (TePP) of Cebu City (3rd).

For the municipality level, the winners are Project eSTAr of Tigbauan, Province of Iloilo (1st), Net Connectivity for Office, Web Portals and CCTV Connectivity of Mangaldan, Province of Pangasinan (2nd), and Data Management System of Business Establishment of Agoo, Province of La Union (3rd).

For developing or improving its internal systems and adhering to various recognized standards, or the Best in Government Internal Operations Award (G2I), the winners in the provincial level are Barangay Legislative Information Tracking System (BLITS) of the Province of Sarangani (1st), Employment and Information System of the Province of Laguna (2nd), and NSPH Point of Sale System of the Province of Northern Samar (3rd).

Winners for city level are Baguio City for Electronic Budgeting, Procurement, Inventory and Monitoring System (1st), Bacoor City - Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and Geographic Information System (2nd), and the Intelligent, Resilient, and Integrated Systems for the Urban Population (iRISE UP) of Quezon City (3rd).

For the municipality level, the winners are Mina Electronic Transparent Financial Management System (METFIMANS) of the Mina, Province of Iloilo (1st), Bacnotan Transportation System (BTS) of Bacnotan, Province of La Union (2nd) and the Internal System of Agoo Public Cemetery of the Agoo, Province of La Union (3rd).

Beginning last year and this year, a special category to recognize platforms designed by local governments in responses to the pandemic or the Best in Government Covid-19 Pandemic Response Award (G2P) was included in the categories.

The winners for the province-level include the Davao del Norte (DavNor) Covid-19 Information Management System (1st), Provincial Civil Defense Case Referral System (ProCID Care System) of the Province of Iloilo (2nd), and Southern Leyte Automated Contact Tracing System (3rd).

For city level, the winners are Baguio Inoculation Digital Application (BIDA) of Baguio City (1st), Vaccination Information Management System (VIMS) of Cebu City (2nd), and Viral Assessment and Monitoring System (VAMOS) of San Carlos City, Province of Negros Occidental (3rd).

For the municipality level, the winners are Taytay Trail and Vax of the Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal (1st), eMoncadaApp of Moncada, Province of Tarlac (2nd), and the Electronic Covid- 19 Quarantine and Vaccine Management (ECQUAVAMA) System of Mina, Province of Iloilo (3rd).