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Implementation

of e-LGU in the Philippines


and the Case of Angono, Rizal

By Asuncion M. Sebastian
12th of December 2011

Under Dr. Francisco A. Magno


For DVS599P e-Governance

Abstract
This paper aims to look at the applicability of the propositions made in four articlesfactors that contribute to the success of e-government implementation to the Philippine context by using the case of Angono, Rizal. The municipality was the recipient of the Technology Leadership Award for excellence in concept and project management in relation to technology deployment in 2010, thus its story is worth examining. In addition, the paper also looked into the overall issues in the implementation of the e-LGU to provide a broader perspective of the topicthese issues included leadership, organizational behavior, and infrastructure. In the end, the paper proposes that eight factors contribute to the success of e- government implementation: 1) leadership; 2) change management strategies; 3) high level of skills of personnel; 4) infrastructure; 5) citizen involvement and education; 6) institutionalization of ICT initiatives to make it politics-proof; 7) employment of high- and immediate-impact systems first; and 8) professional middle management. These factors are then classified into their type (external and internal to the LGUs) and their roles in the various stages of ICT implementation.

Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 1 Research Questions.............................................................................................................................. 3 Rationale and Contribution of the Study .................................................................................... 4 Methodology ........................................................................................................................................... 4 Limitations............................................................................................................................................... 5 Review of Literature................................................................................................................................. 5 E-LGU in the Philippines.......................................................................................................................10 Policy Environment ...........................................................................................................................10 Program Overview .............................................................................................................................11 Implementation Issues: Why Many LGUs Failed...................................................................12 Leadership ........................................................................................................................................12 Organizational Culture and Behavior....................................................................................13 Infrastructure ..................................................................................................................................14 Other Success Factors in e-LGU Implementation .................................................................15 The Case of Angono, Rizal ....................................................................................................................16 Profile of Angono ................................................................................................................................16 E-Government Features...................................................................................................................16 Applications / Revenue Generation Systems ....................................................................16 Web Development .........................................................................................................................17 Effective ICT Practices of Angono: Why It Succeeded ........................................................18 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................19 Direction for Further Research .........................................................................................................23 Works Cited Annex 1 Annex 2

Table of Contents

Implementation of e-LGU in the Philippines and the Case of Angono, Rizal


Introduction

In an archipelagic country such as the Philippines, the new digital technology, and the information and communication technology (ICT) in general, play a significant role in bridging the physically disconnected islands and overcoming the longstanding challenges of infrastructure. ICT has changed not only the way people interact and do business but also the way the government deals with its citizens. The Philippine government recognizes its primary role in ICT development by providing an enabling policy, legal, and regulatory environments that level the playing field and allow the private sector to lead. Specifically, the government intends to use ICT to promote efficiency, responsiveness of service delivery, and transparency in government via e-Governancethis includes the processing of business permits, effective revenue generation, ensuring better law enforcement, and providing social security benefits to people, among others. (Montecastro, 2008) The goal of using ICT in government is consistent with that of the Local Government Code in 1991 that was meant to empower local government units (LGUs) and promote social development through the decentralization of power. According to Lim (2003, in Alampay), e-government implies an appropriate balance between technology as a tool to improve good governance by increasing the opportunities for interactions and dialogue between the government and those it serves, and an alternative channel for citizens to access government services, and participate in the decision-making process which strengthens the fundamental existence of governments to govern in a transparent, open, and accountable manner. ICT is therefore integral in helping the LGUs become more self-reliant, empowered, and participatory through e-government. (Alampay) The e-government in LGUs started with the three-year e-LGU project that was launched in 2002. Among its components was the establishment of web presence by the LGUs. By the end of the project in 2005, almost all LGUs had web presence (see Figure 1). However, 74 percent of the LGUs were in Stage 1, 21 percent in Stage 2, and the rest in Stage 3; no one had reached the more advanced stages at the end of three years.

Figure 1: LGU Web Presence in 2005 The description of the various stages is presented in Annex 1. Figure 2 shows the state of the web presence by 2007 while Figure 3, combining the data in Figures 1 and 2, indicates the percentage changes in each stage and in each LGU type. Figure 2: LGU Web Presence in 2007 Figure 3: Movement in Stages of LGU Web Presence, 2005-2007 At this time, the number of cities with web presence increased by 13 percent while the number of provinces and municipalities slightly decreased. As for the stages of their web presence, the LGUs tended to concentrate in Stage 2, indicating both upward and downward movements to this stage. Thus, the proportion of LGUs in various stages had also changed slightly after two years: 70 percent remained in Stage 1, 26 percent were in Stage 2, and the rest were in Stage 3. In 2009, however, the NCC decided to fully stop the hosting services it provides LGUs across the country, in a move aimed at enabling the LGUs to be self-sufficient especially in sustaining their online presence. By 2010, only 390 LGUs had web presence; of this number, 155 were on stage 1, 131 on Stage 2, and 104 on Stage 3. (InterAksyon, 2011) The total number of LGUs with web presence dropped by 77 percent from 2005 figure, albeit more LGUs were in Stage 2 (34 percent) and Stage 3 (27 percent). (Figure 4)
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Figure 4: Number of LGUs in Various Stages, 2005, 2007, and 2010


64 84 351 450 104

131 1,235 1,197

115

Research Questions

The LGUs overall web presence seemed to have deteriorated in the last six years despite the Philippines ranking 66th out of 192 countries in the United Nations e- Government Readiness Survey and 45th in the Web Measure Index, both in 2008. (Montecastro, 2008) On the citizens or users side, the country has been recognized as the top 17 in the world both in terms of number of Internet users (29.7 million) and of penetration rate (29.2 percent of the population). (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2011) As for the growth of Internet users from 2000 to 2011, the Philippines ranked 10th of the top 20 countries cited. (Annex 2) While 77 percent of the LGUs lost their web presence by 2010, on the contrary, the mayor of the municipality of Angono, Hon. Gerardo V. Calderon, received the Technology Leadership Award that year, which recognized the eGov4MDs1 excellence in concept and project management in relation to technology
1 The e-Governance for Municipal

Development (eGov4MD) Project, started in April 2007, was a collaborative initiative among the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), the Mayors Development Center (MDC), Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), and the National Computer Center of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT-NCC), supported by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Trade and Industry. Its goal is to improve local governance, including increasing efficiency of public service delivery and revenue generation, by promoting human resource development in the field of ICT and promoting the use of National Computer Centers e-LGU software package. (source: www.lmp.org.ph) Page 3 of 23

deployment. The award was given by the Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation (CIOFF), a foundation established by chief information officers and information and communications technology executives and managers from the government. (League of Municipalities of the Philippines, 2010) Given this scenario, this paper aims to answer the following questions: Why were 77 percent of the LGUs in 2005 not able to maintain their websites by 2010? Why has the Angono Municipal Government, considering the relatively smaller revenue streams of municipalities compared to cities and provinces, been able to sustain its web presence and even received an award for its e- government initiatives up to this time? What factors contribute to the success of or hinder the implementation of e- government in the Philippines at the municipality level?

Rationale and Contribution of the Study

Majority of authors of materials on the success and/or failure of implementing e- government are from the West, citing cases in India and Latin America as examples and bases of their propositions. This paper shall use these authors analytical framework to test whether or not their propositions are also applicable in the Philippine context, thereby contributing to the body of local ICT materials, specifically on e-government. Further, there is scarcity of studies on the implementation of e-government in the country; the few available materials made generalizations based on e-LGU in general without necessarily considering the differences in the resources and political and cultural background, among other things, of the 1,709 LGUs. This papers contribution is an analysis of what works or does not work given the particular context of Angono. Finally, this paper aims to document the successful practices in e-government, showcasing the lessons that may be applicable to the LGUs with context similar to that of the case subject.

Methodology

This study shall use the case study approach, wherein two research methods will be employed: 1) interview with key informants that include the former Chairpersons of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology and the management and staff of the Municipality Government of Angono and its neighboring municipality, Taytay; and 2) secondary material search. As in the works of Jones, Irani, Sharif, and Themistocieous (2006) which also used the same methodology, case study was deemed appropriate to use to describe the
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core issues associated with e-government (in their study, it was about evaluation in the public sector). Generalization is not sought, rather, undertanding the deeper structure of the phenomenon under study.

Limitations

This study would have been more comprehensive if cases of similar municipalities were included for comparison; however, the neighboring municipalities of Angono such as Taytay, Cainta, and Antipolo (considered here to eliminate possible discrepancies due to difference in topography, natural resource endowment, and infrastructure, among others, of the case subjects) started with their ICT application only in 20102 while Angono began its own in 2005. The six-year head start of Angono would not allow objective and accurate comparison of these other municipalities. Further, it has proven difficult to ask why the not so-successful municipalities such as Taytay are not able to do what Angono has achievedpeople would not admit their failure or they would be defensive about why they failed, and either way, no accurate data could be drawn from them. Perhaps even in future studies, documenting successes might prove more feasible than recording failures, thus proving the validity of the anti-thesis (i.e. proving the case would indeed be a failure in the absence of the success factors) may not be easy, if possible at all. Another limitation of the study is the type of information sourceall of the key informants are either former or current government employees, thus the perspective presented in this study did not include that of the citizens. Under a different circumstance where there is more luxury time, a survey on the citizens usage, attitude, and interest in e-government would have provided deeper insights on e-government issues. After all, the citizens are the primary stakeholders in e- government.

Review of Literature

Four materials on issues in e-government implementation are reviewed: Dada, D. (2006). The Failure of e-Government in Developing Countries: A Literarure Review. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. Jen-Hwa Hu, P., Chu, D., & Sherwood, A. C. Examining Cross-Agency Collaborations in e-Government Initiatives. Proceedings of the 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Science.
2 Although that of Antipolo started during the first three-years of the e-LGU project and has been revived only

recently.

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Jones, S., Irani, Z., Sharif, A., & Themistocieous, M. (2006). e-Government Evaluation: Reflections on Two Organizational Studies. Proceedings of the 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Science. Sagun, R. A. (n.d.). A Case Note on ICT for Development Project. Dada discussed the implementation issues in e-government from a big picture or macro perspective while Jones et.al. did the same but from a micro/firm or organization point of view. Jen-Hwa Hu et. al., on the other hand, looked at the issues from the inter-agency context. Lastly, Sagun (n.d.) wrote on the e-Governance for Municipal Development (eGov4MD) in the Philippines and came up with specific key success factors in e-governance (and not just e-government) implementation. The relationships of these four materials are summarized in Figure 5. Figure 5: Literature under Review Dada (2006) asserted that e-government is not just about computerization but the ability of technology to achieve levels of improvement in various areas of government, transforming the nature of politics and the relations governments and citizens (p.1). In his article, he concentrated on the total failures (i.e. e-government was not implemented or was implemented but immediately abandoned) and partial failures (i.e. major goals were not attained and/or there were undesirable outcomes), supporting the statement of Avgerou and Walsham (2000, in Dada) that success stories can be found but failures are more frequent. Thus, he came up with failure factors. According to Dada (2006), failure factors may be grouped based on Heekss (2003, in Dada) archetypes of situations: 1) hard-soft gaps; 2) private-public gaps; and 3)
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country context gaps. The hard-soft gaps, referring to hard technology and soft (people, culture, politics) technology, include weakness or inadequacy in resources, skill levels and training, values, beliefs, and motivations of those involved in the project. Cecchini and Raina (2004, in Dada) also proposed that the technology should be developed in collaboration with the local staff. Further, the use of ICT requires changing and reengineering the processes to adapt to the new technology and culture of an e-government; however, this change is often perceived as a reduction of ones authority, thus the resistance from the organization. On a larger scale, Jaeger and Thompson (2003, in Dada) emphasized the need to educate the citizens on the value of e-government, as e-government would fail if the users fail to use the technology. As for the private-public gaps, one element is the high turnover rate of government IT employees due to uncompetitive compensation, which leaves the public sector with low-skill workers. This situation then often leads to the clash of culture and values of the developer (private) and user (public) in the ICT projects. Also, the public sector is frequently technology-centered rather than information-centered, thus resulting in design gaps in software development. This public sector view can be attributed to their general mindset: that citizens are recipients of government service, as opposed to the private sectors treatment of customers, who bring in the profit for the company. In the private sector, the customers drive the business. (Dada, 2006) Dada also highlighted the differences across country context, particularly between developed and developing countries, in terms of working cultures, skill sets, access to technology, and level of infrastructure. In developing countries, for example, the cost of telecommunications is still high, thus offsetting whatever benefits online trasactions have to offer. In developing countries, too, there is a bigger number of uneducated poor people who would have problems with the affordability (and even the use) of technology. (Dada, 2006) While Dada discussed the e-government issues at the national or country level, Jones et. al. (2006) emphasized the organizational and managerial aspects in e- government. The authors enumerated various issues based on two case studies, among them was decision making. They observed that decisions related to e- government are often relegated to the middle managers, perceived as obvious and common sense even though they involve financial investments; thus, such decisions are not always based on accounting and economics. They also noted that managers often make decisions to achieve their personal and professional goals, and not necessarily in the interest of the institution. As for the rest of the organization, the authors highlighted the resistance of (system) users to the decisions that bring change to their working practices. Project evaluation and performance assessment are other areas of concern the authors cited. Organizations often do not have specific people or unit tasked to do
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this function. Thus, the benefits or value of ICT is hardly analyzed vis--vis the investment, if at all. In cases where evaluation is done, often it is used to support certain stakeholders, making the process subjective and political. Further, they noted that stakeholder opinionuser satisfaction, for exampleis not significantly canvassed. (Jones, Irani, Sharif, & Themistocieous, 2006) Finally, the authors pointed out that ownership or sponsorship from a senior executive is key in the e-government implementation and that the lack of it is often the concern of the practitioners. (Jones, Irani, Sharif, & Themistocieous, 2006) Sagun (n.d.), in contrast to Dadas failure factors, presented his success factors in e- government implementation based on the experience of the eGov4MD Project: 35 percent well-trained municipal staff 30 percent changing organizational behavior, such as the Mayors support to ICT-enabled services, appreciation by municipal staff to move from manual- based operations to computer-enabled operations 20 percent re-engineering business processes, like streamlining the permit and licensing processes 15 percent technology, in this case, computers, internet, local area networks and the software The author did not explain how the percentages were computed and on what bases; however, the figures may be used to signify the perceived relative contribution of each factor to the success of e-government implementation. Sagun (n.d.) cited that having well-trained municipal staff is the most important success factor, followed by the sustained commitment and strong support of the mayors of the participating municipalities. Political leadership, including the relevant department heads, should champion the process, from adopting municipal resolutions, sending staff to trainings and allocating resources to procure needed IT equipment to having a project management plan. (p.3) In conclusion, he said that venturing into e-governance requires long-term political support, institutional maturity, capital investment both in hardware and human resource, and a well-designed, visionary roadmap. (Sagun) Success or enabler factors, but this time in inter-organization context, are presented by Jen-Hwa Hu, Chu, and Sherwood (2006). Among the most critical ones are the following: leadership management control, i.e. the process of testing, measuring, and providing feedback with respect to a defined goal trust, i.e. the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the action of the other based on the beliefs in the other partys ability, benevolence, and integrity
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mutual adjustment (of agencies involved), which refers to considerable reciprocal interdependence

The authors added that infrastructural underpinning is needed to support the enabling factors. This comprised defined rules and procedures, formal communication means, and informal communication channels and protocols. Without these mechanisms, trust and mutual adjustments cannot be attained. (Jen- Hwa Hu, Chu, & Sherwood) The factors contributing to the success or failure of the e-government implementation mentioned by the various authors are summrized in Figure 6. Figure 6: Summary of Factors Contributing to the Success / Failure of e-Government Implementation

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E-LGU in the Philippines


Policy Environment

The history of e-government in the Philippines may be traced to the establishment of the National Computer Center (NCC) in 1971, which was intended to spearhead the development of information technology in the country for nation building. Aside from Japan, only the Philippines had an ICT center in Asia at that time. (Uy, 2011) No literature however accounts for the ICT development thereafter, from the 1970s until the early 1990s. Executive Order 190 of 1994 (and amended by EO 469 in 1998) was issued for adopting the National Information Technology Plan 2000 (NITP2000) and establishing the National Information Technology Council (NITC) as the central policy body on ICT matters in the country. For the first time, government developed a comprehensive plan and mapped out strategies for the development of the ICT industry as well as the adoption of ICT in the public sector. (Commission on Information and Communication Technology, 2011) Then in 1997, the government defined in IT21 the broad principles and strategies mentioned in previous National Information Technology Plans into more specific programs and activities. IT21 delineated the roles of the government and the private sector and was subsequently complimented by Administrative Order 232, which instructed all government agencies and instrumentalities including local government units to undertake electronic interconnection through the Internet. (Alampay, 2005 in Alampay) The passing of Republic Act No. 8792 in 2000, otherwise known as the e-Commerce Act, was a milestone that marked the governments serious intent to make ICT an integral part of national strategy for growth, promoting the universal use of electronic transaction and mandating all government offices to transact business online. Among its goals were to make ICTs integrated into LGU operations, in order to deliver more efficient and effective services to citizens, while at the same time generating higher revenues for themselves. (Siar, 2005) This law was supported further by the e-Government Information Systems Plan (Executive Order 265) issued that same year, which detailed the policies, strategies, infrastructure, technology solutions, and financing options that should be put in place to realize the countrys vision of a Philippine Government Online. Likewise, the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan from 2004 to 2010 highlighted the full potentials of ICT as a tool for knowledge creation and diffusion in the country. (Montecastro, 2008) In 2004, the Commission on Information and Communication Technologies (CICT) was created to take into account the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and computer technologies (Alampay 2005). This was to address what
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Rye (2002) described as a fragmented policy and program implementation of ICT activities in the country. Among the institutions that the CICT absorbed were the NCC and the telecommunication planning office of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). As such, the CICT became the primary institution for developing IT policy, programs and projects for the government, including the e-LGU project. (Alampay) By 2008, a bill was pending in the Philippine Congress, which aimed to create the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The new department would consist of all the existing offices of the DOTC dealing with communications, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC), and the NCC. The Departments mandate would be to ensure the provision of strategic, dependable, and cost-efficient ICT infrastructures, systems, and resources as instruments for nation-building and global competitiveness. It would be tasked as well to promote a policy environment of fairness, broad private sector participation in ICT development, and balanced investment between high-growth and economically depressed districts. (Montecastro, 2008) However, the bill never got passed into law and in 2011, the CICT office, which used to operate directly under the Office of the President, was abolished and its functions subsumed under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The new structure left CICT devoid of administrative power. Former CICT Chairman Ray Roxas-Chua said that by not having a department dedicated to ICT it would difficult for the program proponents to push for the ICT strategy, as their implementation would largely depend in the priorities of the DOST. Incidentally, DOST focuses on ICT innovation while the CICT advocates technology applications. Besides, because of the Local Government Code of 1991 that devolved the power to the LGUs, the central and national government agencies could only do so much in the LGUs adopting ICT. Former CICT Chairman Ivan Uy added that by putting CICT under DOST the countrys ICT situation would have regressed by 10 years.

Program Overview
In line with R.A. 8792, the NCC undertook the e-LGU Project in 2002, to be implemented for three years until 2005. Its objective was to enable LGUs to adopt computerization by empowering them to embrace the technology and to apply the benefits of ICT to local governance towards an improved quality of public service. (Montecastro, 2008) The e-LGU Project was composed of five elements: 1) establishment of web presence; 2) applications systems development, which included Business Permit and Licensing System (eBPLS), Real Property Tax System (eRTPS), Treasury Operations Management System (eTOMS), and Geographical Information System
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(GIS); 3) LGU capability building; 4) establishment of Community e-Centers (CeCs); and 5) advocacy and promotions. (Montecastro, 2008) Recognizing the LGUs resource constraints as a key factor hindering their acquisition and application of computerized operations, the project employed open source technology to eliminate the high cost of third-party governance solutions something that only the highly-urbanized and comparatively more affluent LGUs were able to avail of as early as the 1990s. (Commission on Information and Communication Technology) Prior to project implementation, the NCC determined the readiness of LGUs for e- governance, beginning with the inventory of computer facilities. At the time, total of 15,446 computer units were reported by 640 LGUs, distributed unevenly from a high of 435 units to a low one unit per LGU. Cities averaged 75 computer units per LGU; provinces, 60 units; and municipalities, 10 units. The income classification of LGUs was not a significant factor in the LGUs investment in computer units. In terms of Internet and e-commerce facilities, 30.7 percent of the LGU respondents reported having Internet capabilities, and the majority (87.6 percent) of them were connected via dial-up access. The LGUs with no Internet connection attributed its absence to the absence of Internet service provider (57 percent), lack of budget (40 percent), and lack of management support (9 percent)and there may still be some grain of truth in these data almost a decade after the launch of the project. Some 22 percent of the LGUs surveyed reported hosting their own web site. (Mariano, 2006) The state of LGUs then was an apparent indication of the digital divide in the country. Of the 1,694 LGUs, only 630 (37 percent) expressed interest in ICT; of this number, 100 were selected for the pilot run. Some 16 provinces, 17 cities, and 67 municipalities representing all regions in the country participated; 74 of these LGUs were from second to sixth income classes.

Implementation Issues: Why Many LGUs Failed


Leadership

The first and probably the most critical reason is leadershipwhich supports the propositions of Jones et.al. (2006), Jen-Hwa Hu et.al. (2006), and Sagun (n.d.). Based on the interview with the former chairpersons of CICT, the Commission could only do so much in influencing the LGUs to adopt ICT in their operation, because their authority covered only the national government agencies (NGAs) and because of the provision in the Local Government Code devolving power to the LGUs. The CICT could only make ICT services and products available to the LGUs but they could not force the LGUs to use them. And why would they do so if the adoption of ICT would force them to become transparentthe common reason why the use of ICT is not popular among the executives. As Uy (2011) put it candidly, if one does not have the
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buy-in of the mayor (or the head of the LGU), forget about ICT, lest forcing the issue would just lead to greater problems. Still in some cases, the LGUs were unwilling to invest in ICT once the CICT/NCC/national government support was pulled out, thus the initial achievements under e-LGU were not sustained. Still, this investment decision is a function of political leadership described by Sagun (n.d.). For some resource- challenged yet entrepreneurial LGUs, for example, they charged fees for their services, thus turning ICT into revenue-generating activity for them. Although for the lower income LGUs in the rural areas, it was more of an infrastructure than leadership issue. Connection in the less developed areas could sometimes be both unaffordable and unreliable. Organizational Culture and Behavior Resistance may come not only from the top executive but also from the rest of the organization. People tend to resist change, as pointed out by Jones et.al. (2006), Jen- Hwa Hu et.al. (2006), and Sagun (n.d.). This scenario is also true in the Philippine contextthe sources narrated how in some LGUs the staff literally cut off the cable of the system and destroyed the machines by pouring liquid on them in their desire to delay, if not to terminate the project. Some people are simply not comfortable with technology while others are too old to adjust to it, thus the resistance. Some refuse the new technology because it would inevitably rid of illegal transactions (e.g. use of fixers) from which they earn. Uy (2011) dismissed the perception that people resist ICT because it could cost them their jobs, with machines replacing them. He said that the new technology would not require laying off staff, but only re-training them to acquire the skills necessary to run and manage the systems. Besides, he added, as they are the LGUs could make do without 50 percent of its manpower and some clever leaders use ICT as an excuse to downscale the bureaucracy so that people have something to blame their fate on. Based on the evaluation of the e-LGU in 2005, the main issues in implementation also included the LGUs lack of either interest or creativity in keeping their web sites relevant to the public, with some web sites having been static since their launch in 2002; lack of awareness of the citizens as well as the local executives of the existence of their LGUs web sites; the LGUs resorting to private providers thereby not maximizing the use of resources made available to them through e-LGU, and infrastructure. The maintenance and updating of the LGUs web sites content proved to be an issue especially that the public would not pay attention to them if the information in these sites were dated and/or irrelevant to the users. A content analysis of 102 city government websites conducted by Siar (2005) found minimal adoption of e- governance by majority of the city governments and the underutilization of their
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websites as e-governance tools. The content was mainly geared towards informing people about the communitys characteristics and promoting citizen awareness, with the bulk dealing only with standard information (i.e. topography, history, composition of the government, etc.). Few efficiency enhancing services, such as interactively transacting with government and downloading forms were found and that the promotion of policy-making and participation in decision-making was negligible. Only seven percent of cities put ordinances and resolutions online, with only one providing full document download. (Siar, 2005) Alampay (n.d.), however, reasoned that some of these sites were hosted or established by the NCC and not by the LGUs, hence, some LGUs did not have direct control over the content in their own web sites. Perhaps, Dadas (2006) proposition in this case was correct, in that the values, beliefs, and motivations of those involved in the project influence the success or failure of e-government. Even if the LGUs did not own the web sites initially, the people behind the LGUs could have taken where the NCC left off, to benefit both the LGUs and their citizens. However, they could not have taken initiative to develop and maintains their web presence unless they appreciated its value. Furthermore, despite the remarkable web presence of the LGUs, there may also be low-level of awareness among residents, and even among municipal employees of the sites presence. More alarming was that the local chief executives (mayors and governors) may themselves be unaware of their own website. (Alampay) Alampays (n.d.) evaluation primarily centered on web sites, which is only but part of the entire e-LGU Project. Besides, web presence does not assure web usage by the citizens; demand does not necessarily follow supply. Even then, it is critical to know why six years after the first three years of the e-LGU Project, today, only 390 LGUs or merely 22.8 percent of the total have web presence. Infrastructure As noted by Dada (2006) and Sagun (n.d.), infrastructure is a common challenge in ICT implementation. According to Denis Villorente, current officer- in-charge of the NCC, foremost among this challenge were the absence of good telecommunications infrastructure in some areas, the skyrocketing cost of IT solutions packages available in the market, and the lack of funds to finance ICT projects". (InterAksyon, 2011) In the rollout of CeCs, for example, the LGUs depended on the existing infrastructure of the Telecommunications Office (TELOF)3 and thus, the CeCs were subject also to the limitations of the TELOF network. As well, limited facilities and distance and time to travel to these facilities were among the barriers to peoples use. (Alampay)
3

A government agency mandated to provide telecommunications facilities, including telephone system for government offices, to provide communications services for purposes of augmenting limited or inadequate existing private communication services, and to assist the private sector engaged in telecommunications services in providing and maintaining backbone communications network. (source: http://www.dotc- telof.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=38)

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The former CICT chairperson believed otherwise. Uy (2011) said that infrastructure was the easiest part; what he found most difficult was managing the people and changing their culture and mindset. This was because under the e-LGU Project, software and systems development were made available to the LGUs for free. Since these were open-source software packages, interconnectivity and compatibility with other government systems were established. Training programs were also standardized to ensure quality of staff skills and to address the common issue of personnel turnover. With this design, LGUs within the same area may share soft technology with one another. However, because LGUs were free to source their own providers, which they often do from the private sector, incompatibility of systems often became a problem and the goal of efficiency through shared resources was hardly met. Apparently, even the use of infrastructure becomes a function of leadership and political will. On hindsight, Uy (2011) said that citizens were not properly informed of the e-LGU Project and were not considered in the program design. The systems were administration-centered rather than citizen-centered, which could have been achieved by looking at their needs (e.g. what one needs to start a business) and designing the systems accordingly. Roxas-Chua (2011) also noted that even the web sites were almost always tourist-centered, not citizen-centered.

Other Influencing Factors in Implementing e-LGU

With the limited influence of CICT on the LGUs and its lack of bureaucratic power as a mere unit under DOST, the LGUs are pretty much left on their own in adopting and advancing ICT in their areas of governance. Thus, the mayors (or the head of the LGU) support to ICT initiatives is crucial, especially that its implementation requires a considerable amount of resources in terms of investment in facilities, streamlining processes, and staff training. Under leadership also falls dedication or allocation of resources to ICT. This includes training of staff that will use and maintain the systems. In many unsuccessful cases, there was no ICT person dedicated to the project or functionICT was treated simply as ad hoc and not institutionalized within the LGU. Finally, to sustain the ICT programs even if the initiating leader does not get re- elected to the post, it is important to engage the local business. The CICT initiated the formation of an ICT council in each LGUcomposed of the local executives and members of the local chamber of commerceto help institutionalize the ICT program. The business sector, being a major partner of the local government in turning the wheel of the local economy as well as main users and/or beneficiaries of ICT-enabled systems, plays a major part in sustaining ICT in the LGU. Besides, the business sector is a more stable proponent of ICT because members of the chamber do not get elected as often as the local executives do.
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The Case of Angono, Rizal


Profile of Angono

Angono is a first class municipality in the province of Rizal, located at 29.38 km. east of Manila. It is bounded by the municipality of Taytay on the northwest, Antipolo on the north, Teresa on the northeast, Binangonan on the southeast, and Laguna de Bay on the southwest. It has a population of 74,668 (2000 Census) growing at a rate of 5 percent per annum. The main economic activities in the LGU include manufacturing, agriculture, fishery, and forestry. (Angono Municipal Government) In 2010, its Honorable Mayor Gerardo Calderon was given the Technology Leadership Award for EGov4MD. The selection of awardees was based on the municipalitys leadership in ICT implementation, ability to accomplish the goals in a short period of time with least problems, and willingness to train and/or share ICT employees.

E-Government Features
Applications / Revenue Generation Systems The ICT initiative in Angono started in 2005 while Mayor Calderon was serving his third term. The LGU took out a loan worth Php7 million to finance its investment in GIS and other related applications. The Geographic Information System (GIS) captures, stores, analyzes, manages and presents data with reference to geographic location data(such as mapping for) tax collection, land use, climate change issues. (Commission on Information and Communication Technology, 2011) According to Ms. Nancy Unidad (2011), the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) who has been working in the municipal office since 1990, the adoption of GIS was something their unit had been discussing for quite some time before they made a formal recommendation to the Mayors office. Specifically, the MPDC needed the ICT system to ensure the accuracy of planning in traffic management, disaster prevention, infrastructure, and road network; solve the incidence of inaccurate inventory of taxable land, erroneous tax declaration, and businesses without permits and licenses; and lessened the cases of illegal settlers. (Local Government Unit Angono Rizal) It took the LGU 11 months to set up the whole system, including staff training. Since the personnel were involved as early as the planning process, they were willing to undergo training in using GIS when it was adopted. Indeed, the impact of GIS was felt immediately, they saidwith each resident and each business entity was properly tracked and each property tagged, the MPDCs work became more manageable and faster, and its output more accurate. In the past,
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the unit gathered information from the barangay (village) captains to determine the need of the residents. Often they would get waiting shed and other construction- related projects as responses. There were no hard data on which to base decisions. Puro kwentong kutsero (all folklores) then you decide on that basis. (Unidad, 2011) With the GIS, they were able to conduct surveys among the residents themselves and validate the soundness of gathered information through the system. It turned out that many people wanted livelihood programs, improvement of waterways, and promotion of peace and order. After GIS came the Real Property Tax System (eRTPS) for the Assessors Office and the Treasury Operations Management System (eTOMS) for the Treasury. Because the acquisition of these systems was not coordinated with other units and the GIS provider was from the private sector, interconnection became a problem. It was resolved eventually, however. Sources admitted that the LGU had not had any formal impact monitoring for the ICT. They could only attest, however, that their recording of information had become accurate, and the work process faster and more convenient for them. Further, for the MPDC alone, the revenue they were able to generate from updating the zoning values of properties as a result of the GIS use increased by 500 percent on their first year of use. They also added that there had been no citizen involvement yet in the process. In the future, they hope to come up with programs that would address the needs of the citizens. Web Development When asked about the ICT in the municipal government, the sources were quick to refer to the abovementioned applications and systems. It took them a while to recall that web presence was part of their ICT. They recalled the CICT-initiated project with some demeaning tone: web site langdalawang computers at internet connection para sa web site (only a web sitetwo computers and internet connection for the web site). Angono set up its web site (http://www.angono.gov.ph/) in the early 2000s with the help of CICT that provided them with two units of desktop computers, Internet connection, and one-year staff training. Today, the site, powered and maintained by a formerly Angono-based private company, has been well maintained and updated (e.g. the message of the Mayor for the 2011 Fiesta held in November 23 already posted on the site). Its 2010 and 2011 financials could be downloaded from the website, with the recent documents
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uploaded regularly (e.g. three new documents have been uploaded between November 20 and December 9). Based on the five-stage UN-ASPA classification, Angonos web site would be on Stage 2.

Effective ICT Practices of Angono: Why It Succeeded

One of the key success factors identified by the sources was leadership. They also acknowledge that plans and priorities change according to the term of the elected leaders, thus the non-elected, permanent-post middle managers draw plan for only three years (minimum term for an elected office). They said that they could only give recommendations and if ICT is not the incumbents priority, they could not push for it. They further opined that many leaders prefer spending on construction rather than on IT. In Angonos case, the Municipal Government was willing to spend on technology and infrastructure. In fact, 7 percent of its assets in 2010 and 2011 were invested in ICT.4 The Angono Municipal staff described Mayor Calderonre-elected for his fourth term in 2010 after another mayor from opposing party was elected in 2007 when he could not have run after serving the post for three consecutive termsas a visionary leader, with global perspective, and progressive thinkingalways open to innovations even in terms of waste, environmental, and disaster management. (Unidad, 2011) It also helped to involve the local staff in the planning process to manage, if not minimize possible resistance. Their training was also critical in sustaining the ICT initiatives. In the case of MPDC, everyone from the unit knew how to use the GIS so they had not become dependent on only one or few persons to run the system. Finally, the loyalty of the regular or non-elected middle management and staff to the institution helps sustain the ICT initiatives of the top management even after changing of guards. Angono had had non-ICT supporter in the past; however, because the use of technology had become part of their jobs, the non-elected personnel continued doing what they did and did not allow the new leader to affect their performance. We keep politics out, the sources said.
4 Computed based on the financials posted in the Angono Rizal web site

(http://www.angono.gov.ph/other_angono_schools_financial.php?p=ot).

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Conclusion

Based on the review of literature, the implementation of e-LGU in general, and the ICT adoption of the Municipality of Angono, one may draw conclusion on the common success factors in e-government implementation. What consistently comes out in the materials is the key role of leadership in the e-government implementation. In the Philippines where there is no national policy that compels the LGUs to adopt ICT, the LGU leaders (i.e. the Mayors and Governors) are left to their own motivation to initiate and adopt ICT. Coming up with such a decision is not always easy because adoption of ICT will require resources, changing processes and practices, and making oneself more transparent and accountable to the public. Thus, such decision cannot come from middle management although Jones et. al. (2006) observed this relegation of responsibility happening in certain cases. The Angono case also illustrated how ICT promoted accountabilitya former management decision made on the basis of folklore is now made based on hard data generated by the employed ICT system (GIS). Applying change management strategies can manage resistance from the staff or users. One way to doing it is involving them in as early as the solving a problem (which ICT will help address) and planning for the solution, way before they are engaged in the actual implementation, as what Angono government did. This way, too, the staff will have developed a sense of ownership of the solution and/or the ICT systems. As argued by Jones et. al. (2006), ownership or sponsorship is key in the e-government implementation. Having highly skilled personnel in the implementing institution is critical in sustaining the ICT initiatives and maximizing the use of the systems. Indeed it takes strong leadership and political will to start an ICT project, but it requires skilled people to make it work. In the case of Angonos GIS, everyone in the MPDC unit is equipped to run the system. Besides, highly skilled employees are less likely to fear and/or get frustrated with technology. The importance of infrastructure in the implementation is certain; however the debate revolves around the level of infrastructure needed and its presence in the country. While some people find the software packages and systems costly, the CICT tried to make them available to the LGUs for free yet many still opt not use them and instead resort to in-house and/or private sector services. And if a municipality such as Angono that earns only between Php55 million and Php80 million annually (per the official definition of a first class municipality) could set aside 7 percent of its assets to ICT facilities, the bigger LGUs can do better than this. Again, it will go back to leadership and political will.
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Citizens involvement and education is yet another factor. As Jaeger and Thompson (2003, in Dada) emphasized the need to educate the citizens on the value of e-government, as e-government would fail if the users fail to use the technology. The country boasts of its high internet usage and growth but if the LGU web presence has deteriorated over the years, then one may conclude that the magnitude of internet users is not enough to pressure the LGUs to keep pace with the growing market or Internet-using citizenry. That, or the huge Internet users in the Philippines do not pay attention to socio-political issues as much as they do to social networking and entertainment/gaming sites. Chua (2011) also emphasized the need to strengthen the ICT education of the young people. As of 2009, only 8 percent of the university and college graduates in the country completed ICT-related courses. Worse, the country has been losing its experienced IT professionals to other nations who could afford to pay them much higher compensation.

If this study were to make any contribution to the local ICT or e-government literature, it would be in these three success factors not mentioned in other materials: Institutionalizing ICT will ensure the sustainability of the program. At the rate things are going at the national level, it would be difficult at this time for CICT, being subsumed under DOST, to enforce its strategies and policies. For the well thought out plans to be implemented, they would require administrative competence and prowess of an institution with teeth. Thus, institutionalization of ICT may happen at the LGU level for the meantime. This means making the ICT initiative politics-proof. As proposed by Douglass North (1990), institutions can either be formal or informal, formal constraints such as rules that human beings devise, and informal constraints such as conventions and codes of behavior. (North, 1990) In the case of Angono, ICT may be considered institutionalized, albeit informally, in that people are used already to ICT-enabled work environment. However, Angonos neighboring municipality of Taytay, though it has revived its ICT only recently, used a formal means of institutionalizing its ICT programs. The Taytay Municipal Government issued an ordinance in 2010 creating the Management Information Service Section (MISS), which is tasked, among other things, to do research, evaluate and monitor e-government implementation, and training personnel in the use of ICT. MISS has its own office and staffa statement that ICT is not just ad hoc. With this new MISS, allocation of resources will also be assured in the future. In the case of Angono, resource allocation to e- government project is not a problem under the incumbent mayor, but without any policy on ICT in place, it may not be so should a new mayor get elected in 2013.
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Involving the business sector in the project, e.g. through its membership in a multi-stakeholder council, can also be a form of formal institutionalization that enhances the sustainability of the e-government initiative. The business sector, being a revenue contributor, can wield power to influence the direction of ICT in the LGU as well as provide a more stable support to the council because they do not hold elections every so often. Thus, involving the business sector in ICT through a formal structure also helps in institutionalizing ICT in the LGU. Success begets success, thus the LGUs can build its ICT efforts on systems or programs that create immediate impact to reinforce the use of ICT. In doing so, the management need not rally the entire organization to use ICT and convince them of its benefits. In Angonos GIS, for example, the MPDC staff were readily convinced of its purpose and benefits because the system has made their lives easier for them. Another impact area is decision makingthe new system enabled them to draft plans of actions that are more effective in addressing the citizens needs. The folklore-based programswhich are similar to Jones et. al.s (2006) obvious and common sense decisions not based on accounting and economicswere put to stop because of the accurate data generated by the GIS. On the other hand, the municipal government has not maximized the potential usage of its web sites probably because from the administrative perspective, its benefits are not direct and immediate. For example, how many tourists came over the Art Capital because they found it in the web? What benefits has the municipality enjoyed by being transparent to the pubic about their financials? Good image and governance would not count much after electionunless the citizens prove otherwise. Finally, while it takes strong leadership and political will to start an ICT project and skilled people to make it work, apolitical and professional middle management will sustain the usage of ICT even with the changing of guards. The experience of Angono shows the critical role of the middle managementthat which remained loyal to the institution and not to the politicianin the continuity of ICT in the LGU.

These factors may be categorized into externalsuch as citizen involvement and education, and infrastructureand internal to the LGU. While the internal factors are well within the control of the LGUs, they, the LGUs, can only influence the external factors. They can have education campaign for its citizens in the use of the public ICT facilities or online services for example but ultimately, it is the citizens who decide whether to use them or not. Similarly, the LGUs can decide to invest in broadband connection but if there are no providers in their area or if power supply in the locality runs for only 12 hours a day, their ICT-based services will be limited.
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Since the importance of these success factors also varies in different stages of implementation, they may also be organized accordinglyinception (or introduction to the organization), installation (or system start up), and integration (institutionalization of ICT projects). Leadership, for example, is crucial at inception and installation, as it directs the organization and allocates necessary resources. However, once ICT gets institutionalized, it can work regardless who the leader is. Change management, or changing organizational behavior, is likewise crucial at inception, as it will minimize resistance from the people. Inception stage can also be used to train the staff so that by installation phase the organization already has a pool of skilled employees who can sustain the ICT up until it is integrated into their work culture. However, having professional middle management may not be as crucial at the inception and system installation as it is at the integration stage. Figure 7 summarizes these success factors according to their type and role in the implementation stage. Note that the external factors are consistently highlighted in all stages of implementation. The reason is that citizens, because of their growth and mobility, need to be constantly educated; besides, technology is so dynamic that people need to be updated with its latest development regularly. Similarly, infrastructure is drawn all throughout the implementation process because it has to be maintained or at times, it requires new investments have to be made. Figure 7: Summary of Key Success Factors According to Type and Importance in Implementation Stages

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Direction for Further Research

For future research, it will be valuable to do a study on the citizens needs that will help the LGUs make their systems more responsive and more relevant to them. The study may aim to determine the reason for the low level of awareness and usage of the LGU web sites among Filipinos despite the high number of Internet users in the country. Finding out why the low level of awareness of the LGU web sites among Filipinosthat despite the countrys ranking 17th in the world both in terms of number of Internet users and penetration rate, and 10th in terms of growth of internet users from 2000 to 2011is already a major step in making e-government citizen-centric. Another area of research interest is the impact of e-government, and e-LGU in particular, in terms of efficiency, responsiveness of service delivery, and transparency in government. As mentioned in the review of literature, the economic viability of the ICT may be supported by empirical evidence (cost of ICT vis--vis its benefits to the LGU staff and the citizens). More importantly such study may evaluate the e-government projects on the basis of development and citizen participation. As Jen-Hwa Hu et. al. (2006) proposed, the e-government project must be tested and measured, and provide feedback with respect to a defined goal. Finally, the propositions presented in this paper may be tested empirically to show evidence and even to determine the extent by which each of the eight factors presentedleadership, change management strategies, skilled personnel, infrastructure, citizen involvement and education, institutionalization, employment of high- and immediate-impact systems first, and professional middle managementcontribute to the success of e-government implementation.

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Alampay, E. A. (n.d.). Philippines: Incorporating Participation in the Philippines e- LGU Project. Quezon City, Philippines. Angono Municipal Government. (n.d.). About Angono. Retrieved November 21, 2011, from Angono Rizal: http://www.angono.gov.ph/about_angono_history_angono.php?p=ab Commission on Information and Communication Technology. (2011). The Philippine Digital Strategy Transformation 2.0: Digitally Empowered Nation. Commission on Information and Communication Technology. Chua, R.R. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. December 1. Makati City. Mr. Chua is the former Chairperson of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology from 2007 to 2010. Cruz, J. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. November 28. Taytay, Rizal. Ms. Cruz is a staff of the Management Information Service Sector. Dada, D. (2006). The Failure of e-Government in Developing Countries: A Literarure Review. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. Espanto, M. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. November 28. Taytay, Rizal. Ms. Espanto is a staff of the Management Information Service Sector. InterAksyon. (2011, October 9). Interaksyon. Retrieved November 20, 2011, from LGUs face widening e-Governance gaps amid rapid IT developments: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/14806/lgus-face-widening-e- governance-gaps-amid-rapid-it-developments Jen-Hwa Hu, P., Chu, D., & Sherwood, A. C. Examining Cross-Agency Collaborations in e-Government Initiatives. Proceedings of the 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Science. Jones, S., Irani, Z., Sharif, A., & Themistocieous, M. (2006). e-Government Evaluation: Reflections on Two Organizational Studies. Proceedings of the 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Science. League of Municipalities of the Philippines. (2010, June 28). eGov4MD is Levelling Up. Retrieved October 17, 2011, from e-Governance for Municipal Development (eGov4MD): http://lmp.org.ph/default/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id= 51:egov4md-is-leveling-up&catid=30:e-governance-for-municipal- development-egov4md&Itemid=21

Works Cited

Local Government Unit Angono Rizal. (n.d.). New Black and White Aerial Photography, Ground Control Survey, Digital Orthophotomosaic, GIS Vector AMP Data, and Geographic Information System (GIS). Miniwatts Marketing Group. (2011, August 7). Top 20 Countries with the Highest Number of Internet Users. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics: http://www.internetworldstats.com/top20.htm Manioal, A. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. November 21. Angono, Rizal. Mr. Manioal is the Chief of Staff of the Mayors Office. Montecastro, A. M. (2008, October 24). Empowering the Philippines through ICT. Seoul, South Korea. National Computer Center. (2007, September 30). National Computer Center. Retrieved November 20, 2011, from ICT Monitoring : State of Web Presence: http://www.ncc.gov.ph/default.php?a1=16&a2=1 North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sagun, R. A. (n.d.). A Case Note on ICT for Development Project. Siar, S. V. (2005, May 11). E-governance in Philippine Local Government: Content Analysis of City Websites and Study of a Best Practice Case. A thesis presented to the Division of Public Administration, Graduate School of International Christian University. Unidad, N. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. November 21. Angono, Rizal. Ms. Unidad is the Head of the Municipal Planning and Development Coordination. Uy, I. J. E. (2011). Interview with Asuncion Sebastian. November 18. San Juan City. Atty. Uy is the former Chairperson of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology from 2010 to 2011.

Annex 1

Annex 2