PH Digital Governance Awards Hailed as WSIS Champion

The annual Digital Governance Awards (DGA) organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) since 2019 emerged among the champions in the WSIS Prize 2023 organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Submitted by Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development, Information and Communications Technology, the project was among the topmost voted in its category out of 360 nominated projects for online voting, following a comprehensive review by the Expert Group, out of 900 submitted projects.

The Digital Governance Awards (DGA) is an annual search for best practices among local government units in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to deliver its public services effectively and efficiently to its constituents, business stakeholders, and other government units. DGA started in 2012 as eGov Awards, was known as the Digital Cities PH Awards by 2017 and became DGA by 2019.

Batapa-Sigue proudly cites that the Philippines through the NICP started to collect digital solutions around the country in 2012 at the same time that WSIS Prizes started in 2012, at the same year that the ITU began the WSIS Prizes.

With the DGA strategy, the DICT ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) envisions the proliferation of revolutionary ICT-based initiatives in the country that will support clearer, wider, and faster access to and delivery of information and services in our local government.

Currently, the DGA is part of IIDB’s Advancing Government ICT Innovation, Leadership and Excellence (AGILE), Program which aims to promote LGU capabilities in terms of their ICT-related services and projects together with the DGA Compendium and the Digital Governance Conferences (DGC).  

The DGA strategy is to draw attention to the best practices in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions so that the different sectors of society and government units are enabled in their roles as catalysts of change. The DGA is open to all local government units such as a province, city, or municipality. LGUs are limited to only one (1) unique entry per category for a total of three (3) entries. The Regional DILG and DICT officers will encourage and help advise LGUs on the categorization of their entries and of entry submission.

Batapa-Sigue said the DGA annually spotlights the outstanding utilization of ICTs in the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGUs). As NICP president, she led the initial roll-out of the search in 2012 as Excellence in Governance through ICT for LGUs (eGOV) Awards until 2016. It aims to share and replicate innovative practices, commend, collate and document LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as an example and benchmark to other LGUs. It also aims 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 LGUs.

The WSIS Prizes 2023 Champions Ceremony will be organized on 15 March during the WSIS Forum 2023 in Geneva, where the achievement of Digital Governance Awards will be celebrated. The DGA project can be replicated by many countries, and the template is ready and available.

DGA is one of the 5 champions in Category 1 for The Role of Governments and all Stakeholders in the Promotion of ICTs for Development. Also named as champions in their category were DICT Region IX project, Cybersecurity Education in the Philippines in the Face of New Normal Adversities for Category 4 or Building confidence and security in use of  ICTs and DICT Region IV-A’s project, Empowering Lives in Prisons through Information and Communications Technology under Category 6 for Enabling Environment.

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