The RESOURCEGov2 project team conducted a Legislative Information Tracking System (LITS) orientation to the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the Province of Cotabato. There were 17 out of 18 municipalities and cities of Cotabato Province with the total of 52 participants and 7 staff from Mahintana Foundation, Inc. who attended the activity. As partner of the project, DILG Provincial Director (PD) Ali “Alex” Abdullah of Cotabato Province gave the opening remarks. He said that there was already a legislative tracking in the past and LITS is the enhanced system that will be of great help in the service delivery of each LGU. He is thankful to the organization for the LITS project implementation. Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, the President & CEO of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI) and the Project Director for the RESOURCEGov, welcomed the participants and introduced RESOURCEGov Project, Mahintana Foundation, Inc. and its other projects and partners thru a video presentation. He also shared that MFI is the only non-government organization (NGO) in the country that was granted a project by European Union (EU) with no foreign partner NGO.
Ms. Lorielyn P. Patoc, the Project Coordinator, introduced the project team and also presented the Project Overview and LITS Orientation to the participants. After the participants learned about LITS, Mr. Roel Ian “Yankee” P. Blanker, the Project Manager, guided the participants to a step-by-step installation of LITS. Minor issue encountered during the installation is the need to update the operating system which was addressed thru an online update.
After successfully installing LITS to the 15 LGUS, Mr. Blanker demonstrated the functions of the LITS and showed samples of ordinances/resolutions/other reports using the LGU Tampakan database. Mr. Blanker also taught the LGUs how to upload their own official seal in the system to give them a sense of ownership of LITS. He also recommended that files attached to the system must be in PDF Format because of its smaller file size. He also suggested that to make the scanning of documents faster, the LGUs may take advantage of Android and iOS applications such as CamScanner and Office Lens to scan documents using high resolution cellphone cameras. Mr. Blanker reminded that since LITS is free, the software must not be sold and can be distributed for free to other organizations that find the LITS useful to them. According to LGU Kabacan, they purchased a legislative tracking system in the past worth Php 500,000.00, however, the system crashed and the LGU is unable to contact the developer to fix the issue. The 2 LGUs who were not able to install the LITS due to operating system and laptop issues will try to install it in their SB office computers which will be checked by the project team during follow-through activities by the end of the month.
After the orientation, two (2) participants were given the opportunity to share their thoughts about LITS. An IT staff from LGU Pikit thanked Mahintana, DILG and EU for the project in behalf of all the LGUs of Cotabato. She said that since the software was made to cater the basic needs of legislative tracking, the LGUs must adjust to the LITS to maximize its use and to share the system to others. She is very grateful to the project, particularly in learning about LITS, reimbursing their travel expenses, and providing a good venue and meals for the training. She added that LITS will be very useful to provide better service to the people. The LGU President Roxas’ Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Secretary Robert Herbilla said that there is no such thing as free nowadays but Mahintana is so generous. Mr. Herbilla considered LITS as a great blessing for the LGUs to help them achieve better archiving, recordkeeping and efficient service delivery to the community.
After the activity, Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon, Mahintana Operations Manager and Mr. Blanker visited the DILG Cotabato Province Office to update about the LITS training. They also met with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Cotabato Province Secretary Marivic F. Ravina to update about the activity and oriented about the LITS. Although the SP Cotabato Office has already a similar system which they procured and they pay every maintenance request, they were very interested about LITS and wanted to adopt it knowing that it is for free. The SP wanted to schedule a LITS Orientation to their representatives and IT staff on the same day as the Vice Mayors League North Cotabato Chapter meeting which is yet to be coordinated by the project team. The project team is also set to visit per LGU of Region 12 as a follow-through activity of the LITS training conducted.