Gov’t launches Open Data action plan
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The national government recently released its Open Data Philippines (ODP) Action Plan 2014-2016 as part of the Aquino administration’s commitment “to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.”

The action plan was released more than a month after the government launched the ODP website (www.data.gov.ph), which seeks to provide the public with up-to-date government data ranging from enrollment in schools to budget information.

“None of us should make the mistake of thinking that Open Data Philippines stops at being a repository of data. Its very name says otherwise. Opening data is about making statistics understandable, through the use of reader-friendly visualizations,” President Aquino said during the launch.

The action plan defines the task of the ODP Task Force, which is composed of the office of the presidential spokesperson, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

It also has an introduction to the open government data portal and will serve as a blueprint for the open data program until 2016.

“As the Philippines is one of the eight founding member-governments of the Open Government Partnership, the country finds itself in a perfect position to further concretize its commitments to the OGP through this program,” read the 25-page action plan.

The action plan “presents and documents how the Task Force intends to carry out the country’s open government data program as the government’s podium to deliver its pledge for an open government,” it added.

In addition to the launch of the website, an infographic released by the government said the country already had a booth camp, ODP multi-stakeholder consultation, and a hackathon.

It said future events would include a master class for senior government officials, online campaigns, and community of practice events.

According to the infographic, the ODP has identified and will prioritize high-value data sets such as in the field of agriculture, education, economy, environment, health, infrastructure, public finance, social welfare, and statistics.

It said the data sets, which will be released on the ODP website, will be “brought to life through user-friendly dashboards, static and dynamic infographics, and applications.”

“The success of the Open Data Philippines requires a reciprocal relationship. As government opens its doors to reveal its wealth of data, the wider public must be willing to enter — to understand and learn, to share, to create, and to innovate,” read a section of the infographic.

The ODP held a hangout about open data in celebration of Open Data Day last Saturday.

Earlier, advocates of the Freedom of Information bill said the ODP website should not be considered as an alternative to the measure.

“It cannot be an alternative to institutionalizing freedom of information,” said Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism executive director Malou Mangahas.

“Even with the Open Data Philippines website, how sure are we that it will still be up after 2016?” she said.

ACTION PLAN AS THE PHILIPPINES DATA DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION GOVERNMENT ODP OPEN OPEN DATA PHILIPPINES TASK FORCE
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