FFE Magazine

Government data now easily accessible through Open Data Philippines

by FFE PH News Staff

 

Government data now easily accessible through Open Data Philippines

Ordinary citizens can now access government data despite slow passage of the freedom of information bill.

 

Taking a step toward a more transparent and accountable government, the Aquino administration has launched on Wednesday the Open Data Philippines, where government data is made publicly available through a website.

 

According to President Benigno Aquino III, the Open Data Philippines is an ‘up-to-date national data — from the total enrollment in public secondary schools over a certain period of time, to the aforementioned budget and procurement data and everything in between.’

 

Aquino added that the website is not merely a repository of data but also aims to make statistics understandable through the use of reader-friendly visualisations.

 

‘Ultimately, opening data is more than just making columns and rows of figures available for viewing; it is about empowering the people through information,’ said Aquino.

 

According to the website, Open Data Philippines is the ‘biggest centralised data source of the government.’

 

Previously, gathering and analysing government data was tedious work as they were scattered in different government agencies in hard copies or buried in their website.

 

Presidential Communications Operations secretary Herminio Coloma pointed out that even though the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill in the Congress was still pending, the Aquino administration has already done concrete steps to give life to the bill even without a law.

 

The FOI Bill aims to establish in the Constitution the right for ordinary citizens to have access to government documents and information.

 

Aside from the Open Data Philippines, the government also introduced during the 2014 Good Governance Summit last Wednesday the Cashless Purchase Card programme, where purchases of employees in three agencies will be made entirely electronic for a more transparent government transaction.

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