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EXCLUSIVE – Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum 2019 Gamification, Panels and Polling

Over 208 government officials and senior technology executives from across the Philippine government, academic institutions and healthcare organisations convened at the 3rd Philippine OpenGov Leadership Forum 2019 on 25 April 2019 at the New World Makati Hotel.

At the Forum, the delegates were given the opportunity to learn not only from the speakers, but also from each other.


The OpenGov Leadership Forum boasts a unique format, ensuring that every Public-Sector Leader delegate is introduced to the international and domestic speakers who host an OpenGov Gamification Table (OGT).

The OGT format brings senior officials together for a series of open discussions, as they rotate from table to table. Each table features a different topic and is hosted by a senior government official along with an industry leader. Together, they facilitate meaningful conversations with the delegation, bringing their insights and expertise.

In one of the tables, the participants were tasked to be project managers in designing an app. The activity allowed them to explore ideas on which to prioritise and what significant questions need to be asked for the project to succeed.

Another table was discussing the importance of transparency in order for the government to get the trust of the people.

The highlight was that at the end of the day, digital transformation begins with the people. The government should create policies that take into consideration the needs and suggestions of its people.

Polling results and insights

Throughout the Forum sessions, participants were open to sharing their experience and concerns as part of the interactive peer learning experience. During the event, polling sessions were conducted to better gauge agencies’ areas of interests.

According to the polling results, around 77% of the participants have an annual IT budget between US$ 1 to US$ 15 million. 55% claimed data management technology to be their main area of investment in the next 12 months.

Currently, over 42% named Data Sharing between agencies as their most important area of focus, followed by cyber-resilience (27%), adoption of predictive analysis and AI (17%), and cloud adoption (14%).

Over 61% of the respondents indicated that the biggest cyber security risk in their organisations is still employee negligence. Moreover, 52% claimed that their organisations are well prepared for a cyber threat but unsure if the organisation can withstand an infiltration.

The top 3 main challenge organisations face are: legacy infrastructure holding back our service delivery (28%), data sharing-cross agencies (27%), and upscaling internal talent (20%).

In describing long term cloud strategy, 74% chose hybrid cloud. Majority of them at 41% find security compliance and credentials to be the key consideration for cloud deployment. However, 77% of them considered concerns on data privacy, security and compliance as the main concern in adopting public cloud.

46% of the participants honestly answered that they are not implementing AI in their agencies. 49% of the respondents find lack of knowledge and internal skills set to be the major challenge in adopting AI. Meanwhile, 62% shared that business intelligence is the AI technology that they are planning to adopt.

Panel Sessions

Aside from having the opportunity to learn from the speakers during their talks, the participants of the forum gained more insights as two panel discussions were moderated by Mr Mohit Sagar.

The first panel session focused on the topic, “The Dawn of Edge Computing – Its impact on how government operates”.

The panel were comprised of Mr Joshua Au, Head (Data Centre), Information Technology Shared Services, Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR); Mr Lee Kyong-yul, Secretary General, World Smart Sustainable Cities Organisation (WeGO); Mr Frans Rijkers, Strategic Advisor Innovation and Identity, National Office for Identity Data; and Mr Eswar Viswanathan, Director – Data Centre Lifecycle Services, International Operations, Schneider Electric.

The key takeaway from this discussion is that edge computing provides the capability of processing the data gathered closer to the source thereby providing speed.

It also provides added security because data is distributed across a wide range of devices, making it difficult for any single disruption to take down the network.

The second panel session, meanwhile, focused on the topic, “Cyber Resiliency in the Era of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies”.

The panel were comprised of Mr Cesar Hawthorne Binag, Chief Information Officer, Philippine National Police; Ms Shariffah Rashidah Syed Othaman, Director, Cyber Security Policy and International Cooperation, National Cyber Security Agency and National Security Council; Mr Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager – South East Asia, Kaspersky Lab.

The key takeaway from this discussion is how the people should always be the first priority with cybersecurity. Securing cyberspace is achieved by cooperation between the government and its people.

Delegates left the Forum with a far more comprehensive and pragmatic understanding of digital transformation. The genuine sharing of real journeys, robust discussions and insightful interactions provided not only food for thought but a better idea for a way forward.

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