NICP: Leading Philippine ICT Councils as Engines for Digital Inclusion
The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), a non-stock, non-profit organization, which was founded in 2008, serves as a convergence of information and communications technology (ICT) councils all over the Philippines, representing the stakeholders in their respective geographical locations such as regions, provinces, cities and municipalities.
The idea started in 2007, when several ICT councils representing key cities in the country gathered in Cebu and sat with the Commission on ICT (CICT) to discuss how to grow ICT industry in the countryside.
In 2008, at the initiation of the ten ICT councils, the first National ICT Summit was held in Iligan City and hosted by the Iligan ICT Council led by Dr. Emmanuel Lagare.
During the Iligan Summit, a meeting was held among the ICT champions, which resulted to the creation of NICP. Then named as National ICT Conference of the Philippines.
Eventually in 2010, NICP was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2010 as the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP). Its Vision, Mission and Strategic Thrusts carried year after year as the organization grows.
In 2009, the second summit was held in Clark, Pampanga with NICP’s first president =, Dr. George Sorio in the helm.
In 2010, the summit was hosted by the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) in Bacolod City.
In 2011, the summit was hosted by General Santos City and in 2012 by Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
2013 was supposedly Visayas’ turn but there was no summit in 2013 due to Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol Earthquake. In 2014, the summit was hosted by Davao City and in 2015 by Legazpi City.
In 2017, the summit was hosted by Leyte Province and Tacloban City and in 2017 by Cagayan de Oro City.
Today, NICP champions the vision of creating jobs especially in the countryside through its member ICT councils.
In 2013, the Philippine Smarter Countryside campaign was launched. Along with a map showing the different ICT Councils in the Philippines.
The brand of NICP which is now recognized in various forums is the encouragement and creation of ICT councils, an organizational model that brings together movers and key decision makers from the public or government sector (local or national line agencies), academe and human resource, and private or business and industry sector. The idea is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.
The ICT council model is now recognized by the Philippine IT BPM Roadmap 2022 which makes mention of the role of the councils especially in achieving inclusive growth, one of the high impact programs (HIP) for 2022. The ICT model has been presented in the United States of America, Bangladesh, Japan, India and Guatemala as a best practice.
Various activities are held by NICP to enhance the capabilities of ICT Councils in fulfilling their mission. Today, in partnership with various agencies such as the DICT, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and private companies, NICP delivers various programs to address the needs and requirements of the ICT councils.
Through the years, NICP’s mission has also evolved in several directions to complement this vision. The six major thrusts for NICP continue to address the challenges of time.
NICP has been one of the strongest advocates that raised public awareness for various ICT policies including the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). NICP efforts stemmed from our sincere belief that ICT will be a vehicle for ensuring that the countryside is not neglected especially in the aspect of leveraging ICT to create jobs, generate investments and drive innovation all over the country and not just in Metro Manila. The thrusts of NICP are effectively carried out through its flagship projects.
In 2012, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the late Jesse Robredo, and the Cyber City Teleservices Philippines Inc. (CCTP) launched in synergy the Awards for Excellence in Governance Through ICT for Local Government Units or the eGov Awards. The eGov Awards is the first and most prestigious recognition to be given by the ICT sector to LGUs with exemplary performance in empowering its Public Customers and Business. It is an annual search for best practices in local government units in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.
The first awarding ceremony was held as part of the annual summit of the NICP which is annually presented by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) since its inception in 2008, while still the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT).
The eGov Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service. By drawing attention to the best practices in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, government units are enabled in their roles as catalyst of change. It is hoped that with the eGOV awards strategy, the country will see the proliferation of revolutionary ICT initiatives that will support clearer, wider and faster access to information in our local government.
The Project aims to:
To highlight and encourage the effective and efficient the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGUs) through the utilization of information and communications technology (ICT)
To share and replicate innovative practices, and commend, collate and document LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s.
To improve the business development, social services and the general ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and/or invest in the growth of the LGU’s.
To promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance responsibility and encourage innovation.
It started with two categories in 2012, namely:
The Best in eGOV Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award – This category recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices using ICT solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services.
The Best in eGOV Business Empowerment (G2B) Award – This category awards the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT solutions and the commitment of its administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business opportunities.
Eventually in 2017, the categories were expanded to five, with additional three categories, as follows:
The Best in eGOV Government Inter-Operability (G2G) Award – This category awards the valuable impact of an LGU’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents and to improve its public service delivery.
The Best in eGOV Digital Finance (G2P) Award – This category commends the initiative of an LGU to promote e-commerce or e-payment facilities and systems to ensure effective revenue generation and collection and improving the over-all financial management of the LGU as well as giving convenience to the public.
The Best in eGOV Data-Driven Governance Award (D2G) Award – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in recognizing that good governance through ICT goes hand in hand with the fair and responsible processing of data. Effective e-governance provides constituents with convenience and better services through the free flow of information while ensuring at the same time that personal data is protected.
In 2017, during the 9th NICP Summit in Cagayan De Oro, DICT and NICP along with other agencies jointly launched the Digital Cities project – the national flagship project to create smart or digital cities, especially in the areas of economic development, governance, lifestyle, talent development, mobility, and environment. During the 6th eGov Awards ceremony also in 2017, NICP and DICT jointly launched the re-branding of the eGov strategy to Digital Cities Philippines.
The Digital Cities PH Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service. By drawing attention to the best practices showing outstanding and remarkable innovation in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, and local government units are enabled in their roles as catalysts of change. For 2018, a sixth category was added.
The Best in eGOV Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W) – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in developing world class systems in using ICT that are at par with international or internationally – recognized standards, thus making the LGU globally competitive, recognized, and virtually accessible and interactive.
The criteria for judging includes:
Innovative management (25 points) – This criterion demonstrates the degree to which the entry explored, applied and managed the elements and “outside-the-box” strategies that brought about the success of the entry.
Impact (25 points) – The project demonstrates the major results, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service (public, employees, or business).
Relevance (25 points) – The project demonstrates how the entry relates to the overall objectives of the LGU and to the category to which it is nominated.
Replication Potential and Sustainability (25 points) – The project demonstrates the model qualities of the practice with the possibility and applicability of replicating it in other localities. It must demonstrate a level of sustainability or that the LGU can continue the project by addressing major disruptions.
The winning LGU’s will be asked to share their stories of best practices to other LGU’s and for their stories and pictures to be published in the various publication. These LGU’s may also be requested by NICP to speak in national and regional summits.
NICP today helps different LGUs create their own ICT councils anchored on the principles that government is a catalyst of all stakeholders and must initiate and encourage all key sectors to set and join in pursuing a direction, that the private sector must actively support the government by providing resources to improve the business ecosystem, provide the real estate and telecommunications infrastructure, that the academe must continuously link with the industry to ensure relevant education, and that all three sectors must work together to pursue competitiveness and readiness in ICT using the multi-stakeholder approach.
Today, NICP serves as the recognized advocate for countrywide ICT industry development. It is known as the champion for countryside digital development and a staunch advocate for developing a smarter countryside.
To learn more about the programs of NICP, please visit www.nicp.org.ph