Medium-term Information & Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative (MITHI)

First Plenary Conference

Secretary Abad, ______________, ________________,  colleagues in government, a pleasant good morning to all you and thank you for coming to the first plenary conference of the Medium-term Information & Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative or MITHI.

Before anything, I would like to thank the DBM for organizing this initiative, in as much as effective e-government is a priority of DOST through the Information and Communications Technology Office, to bring the Philippines to an appropriate state of eGovernment capability we cannot do it alone.  Interagency collaboration such as this is a giant step in the right direction. MITHI could not have come at a more opportune time.  As we speak, the infrastructure required to realize the objectives of MITHI is being put in place, through the Integrated Government Philippines or iGov Phil project of the DOST’s ICT Office and its Advanced Science and Technology Institute, in close collaboration with our partners for e-Government, of course the DBM, along with the MMDA, DOTC, LRTA and MRT.

The effective use of information and data is always a key component in science, technology and research and a cornerstone of the DOST’s programs like Smarter Philippines and project NOAH.  Through effective data gathering from an assortment of resources, information access and analysis, we have made vital information available when we need it to make life changing decisions. So can we achieve such in helping fulfill our individual agency mandates.

Standalone systems and restricted-access databases, that stifle synergies between agencies, are a thing of the past. “Interagency” has been a government policy for more than a decade now, and “Interoperable” has been a buzzword for as long as ICT Systems found their place in government.  However, incompatible systems and limited access databases are still prevalent.  The citizenry has moved forward in ICT and are maximizing the use of technology in their everyday lives, and as such, we in government have much to do.

MITHI is a PROCESS where agency inputs are solicited and harmonized into the evolving strategic government-wide ICT endevor, supported by the national budget.

In other countries, there is a growing trend for a whole-of-government approach when it comes to ICT Systems.  E-Government is the use of ICT to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of government.  These should be true for government as a whole, not just for individual agencies focused on its own mandate and functions.

MITHI hopes to restore faith in the system – a harmonized system, brought about by a coordinated sharing of information and resources across government.  Considering the breadth of the bureaucracy and the sheer number of separate agencies that comprise it, it is clear that MITHI is an ambitious, but certainly long overdue initiative.

More than inspiring hope and faith in the system, MITHI seeks to instill commitment.  For this initiative to be truly meaningful as a collaborative and comprehensive endeavor, it is absolutely necessary that every unit of the national government participates wholeheartedly.

The US President: Woodrow Wilson said this: “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.”  For MITHI to be a success, we need all the brains that we can borrow, all of yours.

Participating agencies can contribute to the review and crafting of the national ICT plan, likewise, an implicit commitment needs to be made on the role of each one in carrying out this plan into fruition.

We may have our own strategies and methodologies in fulfilling our own mandates, we may vary in beliefs and ways of governance, but we should all be geared towards one goal … that is to provide our citizens with efficient and effective public service; towards a world class government that leverages ICT to its fullest.

Thank you once again for committing your valuable time and effort to this conference, I wish you all a productive couple of days, please do not hesitate to collaborate and contribute what you can to this grand initiative.

Salamat at Mabuhay kayong lahat!

-Secretary Mario G. Montejo – Department of Science and Technology