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By: Juan Carlo Manas and Francisco Barquilla III            

In the aim to promote workplace efficiency and smart data archiving through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A (DOST IV-A) was tasked to lead the harmonization of different information systems developed by DOST regional offices last February 13, 2017 at the office of DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

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Heavy paper trails, manual routings, large amount of documents for filing and inefficient data sharing are some of the common problems experienced by employees who lost hours intended for more meaningful tasks.

To address these mounting concerns, IT experts of all DOST regional offices gathered to share operational systems they’re using to be able to keep up with the rising service demands of their respective constituencies.

Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, regional director of DOST IV-A, led the proposition of this harmonization upon the request of DOST’s Regional Operations’ Undersecretary and the former director of DOST IX, Usec. Brenda Nazareth-Manzano.

In her remarks, Usec. Manzano also emphasized the need to have an executive dashboard which will ease monitoring and management of key performance indicators. She also identified top six priority information systems that are required for every DOST Regional Office – these are (1) Project Management Information System, (2) Document Tracking System, (3) Human Resource Information Management System, (4) Financial Management System, (5) Procurement and Inventory Management System and (6) Scholarship Information System.

Engr. Francisco Barquilla, Senior Science Research Specialist and unit head of the Management Information Systems unit said in an interview, “harmonization of information systems is a vital tool in an organization’s communications, operations’ strategic decisions, and documentations. A common platform can help fast track data collection processing and dissemination hence, increased productivity”.

He presented the most adopted in-house information systems available in DOST IV-A’s regional  office including its biggest database system which is the IMPRESSION (Information and Management of Projects, Services, and S&T Interventions). It is a storage for the region’s projects and services which can track project locations, profile the cooperator’s sector, and project the numbers of interventions in an area through digitalized project mapping where the status of an on-going can be monitored. Other regional office representatives presented their systems as well.

Another information system presented is the TRACE (Tracking, Retrieval, Archiving of Communications for Efficiency) which is a document management system that was designed for easier routing and tracking of documents and communications within the region and provincial offices. It is also capable of generating statistics of an employee’s efficiency.

The meeting was delegated by representatives from DOST CAR, I, II, III, IV-A, MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, IX, X, XI and CARAGA.

If the harmonization of information systems will be successful, mass roll-out and even adoption of non-DOST agencies will be possible.

The group will convene on March 1, 2017 to evaluate existing information systems and refine the mode of harmonization.

(See Also: DOST Offices Continuing to Move towards a Harmonized Information System)