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CICT head cites usefulness of Facebook, Twitter as tools in public service

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The Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) cited recently the usefulness of the social networking sites being maintained by line government agencies involved in public service.

“The use of Facebook and Twitter in government offices provides better access to the public. But state workers should use it only during break times and after office hours,” CICT Chairman Ivan John E. Uy said during the "Talking Points" radio program aired over DZRB Radyo ng Bayan of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS).

The twice-a-week radio program, hosted by broadcast journalists Allan Allanigue and Grace Simando, is organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), National Broadcasting Network (NBN)-Channel 4 and PBS.

The CICT chief said that for as low as P20 per hour, anyone can gain access to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites in an Internet cafe to communicate with as many people as they want.

Uy noted that one can visit different websites to watch videos, download files and play games.

“Indeed, communication via the Internet, specially Facebook and Twitter, is gaining ground in the Philippines, a country dubbed as the text messaging capital of the world," he said.

Meanwhile, Uy said government line agencies will soon be interconnected with the putting up of a Citizen's Helpline or Call Center ng Bayan (CCB).

He explained that this system is devised to save clients the time and frustration of being given the run-around by providing their needed information or assistance at the soonest time possible.

Uy said the Citizen's Helpline or CCB is a 24/7 contact center facility intended to address the concerns of the general public via voice call, short messaging service (SMS) and fax, e-mail or the Internet.

"It shall be the means for citizens to air their complaints or request for information and assistance, and get corresponding action or feedback in real time," the CCT chairman explained.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) signed up last year as the first government agency to be interconnected with the Citizen's Helpline or CCB.

The pilot stage of the project will start in the third quarter of 2011. Agencies identified to undergo the pilot run are BIR, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Department of Health.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is the lead agency for the implementation and interconnection of the citizen's helplines, with technical assistance from the National Computer Center (NCC) which acts as the project manager of the CCB Project.

By Joel C. Atencio-PNA




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