Category Archives: Department of the Interior and Local Government

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Philippines Announces Blockchain Upgrade for Procurement, Space Tracking and Public Input Possibly Next

The Philippines Budget secretary has announced that the country is to begin using blockchain in its procurement and tracking activities as a fight against corruption. At the same time, ongoing efforts for blockchain application are being considered for tracking from space, as well as public cooperation.

The country already has an advanced government procurement portal called PhilGEPS which is currently undergoing an upgrade, although the development stage has been harried by supplier delays.

Speaking of the plans for blockchain, the Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno has made it clear of where he wants to focus on the implementation of new technology such as blockchain although there is currently a budget restriction which will delay the release of new projects.

“We’re going to use it for our warehousing,” he said. “I’m the head of the procurement service. I buy subways, I buy aircraft. A blockchain system for tracking this will be secure and less expensive compared to a big data system.”

Another project the government has been looking is the concept of tracking objects from space where satellite images are uploaded online then enabling citizens to actually monitor the progress and comment back to government. The proposed idea called Project DIME (Digital Imagery Monitoring and Evaluation) would involve drones and satellites monitoring ongoing works across some of the country’s 7,200 islands and more remote mountain regions.

Another development between the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the United Nations Development Programme has been named DevLIve, enabling a significant input of public cooperation and reporting. According to Diokno, this is in the process of being introduced. He explained DevLIve: “You download an app and then you can actually report to the central ministry, and also to my department and to the Senate and the House simultaneously. We plan to use it more widely in the next few years.”

However, it is unclear just how readily the public will take to becoming involved as non-paid civil servants.

The secretary also wants to see a situation where the private sector makes competitive bids for all public sector tenders via an online platform, which will add much-needed transparency to new projects. With this enhanced degree of monitoring, and with the absence of the old system of negotiated bids he feels that corruption can be minimized across the sector.

 

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