Manila, July 13, 2003 (BULLETIN) Local government units (LGUs) are staking out their territory in the World Wide Web! All 79 provinces and 115 cities in the country have already attained web presence, according to the latest local government web presence report, dated June 30, 2003, by the National Computer Center.

More than half of the municipalities – a total of 966 out of 1,496 or 64.6 percent – are also online.

These figures indicate a great leap from the web presence statistics of June 2002, which marked the start of NCC’s website development initiatives for LGUs. These initiatives were implemented as part of the DoST (Department of Science and Technology)-funded project, Jumpstarting Electronic Governance in Local Government Units, or eLGU.

NCC has been conducting government website development workshops targeting LGUs, national government agencies (NGAs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

Based on last year’s report, only 51 percent of the total number of provinces and cities and a meager 3 percent of the total municipalities nationwide had websites.

A good number of the LGU websites assessed recently are still in Stage 1 (Emerging Web Presence) of the UN-ASPA Five Stages of E-Government, which means that the sites contain only static information about the LGUs.

Seventeen LGUs are already in Stage 2 or enhanced Web Presence, while 13 have already achieved Stage 3 or Interactive Web Presence. To date, none of the LGU websites in the country has reached Stage 4 (Transactional Web Presence) or 5 (Fully Integrated Web Presence).

NCR was the first region to have all of its LGUs online, followed closely by Region XII, the first Mindanao region to achieve full web presence.

The Establishment of Web Presence for Local Government Units is actually one of the six components of the eLGU Project. It seeks to get all 1,690 LGUs in the country online by the end of the eLGUs initial project year.

In support of this, NCC early last year developed a website template with online content management feature. The template and the Website Content Management System (WCMS), which were developed using open source technology, are easy to use and require no hardcore technical knowledge in web development. Both were designed to enable LGUs to create static websites (Stage 1) of their own.

The same template and WCMS are being used in the government website development workshops conducted for free by NCC for those LGUs who have yet to establish web presence.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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