Learning and implementing e-Governance: The Subic, Philippines way

I’m in the Municipality of Subic, in the Philippines. It’s my second time to Subic. The first was in the fall of 2008. At that time I enjoyed the company of, and was impressed with, the people I met here, and the progress they were making toward e-governance. I still am.

I’m here as a Volunteer Advisor with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) working on the eGovernance for Municipal Development (eGov4MD) project; an international collaborative; orchestrated by the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and which brings together various Filipino organizations and municipalities, as well as foreign nonprofits (e.g., CESO).

Subic approach to e-Governance

Dick Otero is Subic’s Municipal Administrator. In that capacity he administers municipal programs, including those that make use of new e-Governance applications. In the following video, I ask him a few questions about his approach to e-Governance for Subic. My apologies for the low volume audio.  You’ll have to crank your computer’s sound up.  I’m still trying to figure out how to best use my new Flip Mino camcorder.  The background conversations add a touch of realism as to the Subic office environment (at least I think so!).

Some of the points Mr. Otero highlights:

  • Focusing on the development of Municipal staff (e.g., to implement/support e-Governance) is the preferred strategy (vs. reliance on external contractors/vendors)
  • E-Governance is good for citizens, business, and the Municipality
  • Municipal web site will help market the economic potential of Subic
  • Expanded internet use will need to be supported by appropriate usage policy

Learning and growing together

Subic takes a collaborative approach to building their e-Governance capacity. They build partnerships with other organizations, as they have minimal resources to do it on their own. In authentic, creative, and low-cost (or no cost) ways, they connect with and engage others; e.g.:

  • Through political channels and a supportive (for e-Governance) Mayor and Council
  • Through online and in-person training opportunities coordinated by LMP
  • Through web-based Yahoo eGov4MD working group managed by eGov4MD members
  • Through web-based Google eGov4MD working groups established by CESO volunteer advisor Tom Robertson
  • Through personal, face-to-face interaction with staff peers working in other municipalities (as exemplified in my previous post)
  • By inviting local community college instructors to provide their services to the eGov4MD project
  • Through face-to-face interaction with volunteer advisors from foreign NGOs (e.g., from Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan)

Through these conversational channels, Subic gets organizational, business, and technical advice and/or assistance.

Scenes from the Subic Mayor’s Office

Here’s a few pictures taken in Mayor Jeffrey D. Khonghun’s Office.  With an open door policy, there is lots going on in one space.


An open door policy = a busy place!


eRPTS project team meeting; …..photo credit: Fler Dagamat



Gathering around the Mayor, at his desk; ...  photo credit: ?

Gathering around the Mayor, at his desk; … photo credit: ?

Question to the reader- Building on the Subic approach…. what other ways can you suggest on how municipalities can collaborate with external organizations in order to achieve their e-Governance objectives?

I hope to share more Filipino experiences and stories over the next few posts.  Stay tuned.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.  (Not sure what RSS and feeds are all about?  This excellent article, What is RSS?, by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net explains it all!)


  1. Enjoyed reading this last posting.. wondering if you were twittering while in the Phil.?

  2. Levon… Glad you enjoyed the post. So far I’ve only used Twitter for listening (I subscribe to Twitter feeds); yet maybe I should also do some tweeting myself? Appreciate the suggestion.

Speak Your Mind