By: Demee Angelica S. Ludia
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Regional Office IV last October 12, 2020 held a virtual Regional Honor Awards Program where DOST-CALABARZON’s Senior Science Research Specialist Engr. Francisco R. Barquilla III was awarded the prestigious Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award.
The CSC Honor Awards recognized notable public servants for their exceptional ideas and performance that have made an impact in the regional and national level. Three award categories were given out, CSC Pagasa Award, Dangal ng Bayan Award, and the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award. The first two awards were for awardees whose impact was felt in the regional level while the last was for those whose impact was felt all throughout the nation. Out of the 35 nominations, 11 qualified for the awards and two of which were recognized for their national impact.
One of the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardees is Francisco Barquilla III or Kiko to most of his colleagues. Kiko has been with the DOST-CALABARZON for 22 years and counting. As the Management Information Systems (MIS) Unit Head of the organization, he has helped groom a competent team of programmers and system maintenance officers. Through Kiko’s leadership, the MIS team was able to develop the Smart Office Systems-a group of information systems which aim to boost efficiency through digitization. The goal, albeit simple, proved to be a daunting task as it involved processes that went even beyond the bounds of systems engineering and programming.
The Smart Office Systems is currently composed of 12 information systems which can be categorized into disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) systems, internal operations systems, and knowledge generation and repository systems. The Smart Office System’s DRRM category was the pioneer set of information systems developed by Kiko and his MIS unit. These systems’ main beneficiaries are the Local Government Units and advisory agencies’ information dissemination drives specifically intended to aid their broadcasting during hazardous events. These systems generally answer the call for a more rapid agency response through merging credible sources of information into a platform, and providing a means for the agency to quickly disseminate information. DRRM-related Smart Office Systems are composed of the Hazard Notification, Dissemination and Awareness (HANDA), Local Government Unit Information Dissemination System (LGUIDS), and Sensing Environmental Parameters through Telemetry (SENTRY).
Another category, and seemingly the most popular among the three, is the internal operations systems. These information systems aim to support basic yet vital office operations like mobile bundy (Human Resource Management Information System-HRMIS), task delegation and document tracking (Tracking, Retrieval, Archiving of Communications for Efficiency-TRACE), project documentations retrieval and status monitoring (Information and Monitoring of Projects, Services and S&T Interventions-IMPRESSION), and financial transaction monitoring (Tracking, Retrieval, and Archiving of Documents for Efficiency-TRADE). These set of information systems rose to fame specifically through the nationwide rollout of IMPRESSION to all DOST Regional Offices in the country in 2018.
Lastly, the Smart Office Systems paved the way for digitization of knowledge generation and management. These systems cater not just the internal processes but also pave way for the utilization of external customers and partner agencies. These systems provide a locally developed system for users to share and manage information. These knowledge generation and management systems include Webinar and Technology Channel (WATCH), Exchange of Probes, Learnings and Outputs of Researches (EXPLORE), Electronic Registration and Evaluation System (EREG/EVAL), BUILD-A-STAR, and Knowledge Management Information System (KMIS).
To date, after almost a decade since the start of the Smart Office System’s development, DOST-CALABARZON, together with the private and public organizations that made up of the 170 system adoptions from all over the country, are already proudly reaping the fruits of Kiko and his team’s hard work and service. The relatively high number of systems adoption, and diverse list of system adopters serve as living testaments of Kiko’s dedication and willingness to share solutions that go even beyond his duties and responsibilities.
As the CSC IV Regional Director Karin Litz Zerna, in her closing remarks said, the awardees did “extraordinary things, extraordinarily well”. And Kiko, together with the MIS team, did just that. Kiko’s Smart Office Systems ignited the fire that lit up the digital culture of agencies nationwide.