Central database needed for better aid distribution

Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday underlined the importance of proper data governance in delivering vital financial aid and social services to Filipinos in the post-pandemic era, saying the databases created by national agencies and local governments should by now be centralized and streamlined.

“Magiging crucial talaga y’ung data governance sa ability natin na maghatid ng ayuda at services sa mga kababayan natin, kasi we still have years of pandemic recovery ahead of us,” Cayetano said on May 25, 2022.

Cayetano pointed out that having a central database that is administered properly and is available across the entire government bureaucracy will enable government agencies and local authorities to distribute aid more efficiently to Filipinos in need of assistance.

He also mentioned that managing the millions of data sets collected from people throughout the pandemic is instrumental to the development of mobile apps that could make it easier for people to access government aid.

“Kung naa-administer nang maayos y’ung data na nakolekta natin mula sa mga tao these past two years, tapos may iisang database lang tayo na mapagkukunan ng information, mas madali nating mabubuo y’ung mga app sana na pwedeng magpadali ng delivery ng essential services sa mamamayan,” Cayetano explained.

In a recent webinar hosted by the Department of Science and Technology, Ideacorp CEO Emmanuel Llana reportedly pointed out that the national government still scored low on data governance, as shown by the fact that agencies could not exchange data quickly.

Llana was also quoted as saying that the government should work on the interoperability of its databases, and must adopt a “whole-of-government” framework in collecting and managing data.

Cayetano suggested that the government unify and streamline the different databases created by national agencies and local government units throughout the pandemic, and consolidate them with the data being collected through the Philippine Identification System or PhilSys, the formal name for the country’s national ID initiative.

“Dapat pag-isahin or i-consolidate ng gobyerno y’ung mga database na nabuo during the pandemic, tsaka y’ung data na nakokolekta para sa national ID, para hindi na kailangan manghalughog across different databases just to access one person’s information,” he said.

The lawmaker has spoken in recent months about leveraging technology and using mobile apps to deliver financial aid and government services more effectively, saying the state should take advantage of widespread smartphone use among Filipinos as well as the existence of a national ID system to make it easier for people to transact with the government.

“Dapat may app na rin para sa ayuda, na kapag kumpleto naman ang requirements mo, i-send mo lang and then through GCash or through a QR code sa phone mo e matatanggap mo na. Why do we have to make it difficult for people to get help eh pera naman nila ‘yan?” Cayetano said in a media interview on April 29, 2022.

“With the digital age and with the cellphone, dapat you could do almost everything when it comes to government transactions sa cellphone mo,” he added.

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