PH government’s geoportal formally launches

By Catherine J. Torres

MANILA, Jan. 16 (PNA) -– Government further pursued its good governance and anti-corruption bid, formally opening up to the public this week the facility for accessing official multi-agency geospatial data essential in developing nation-building initiatives.

National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) deputy administrator Efren Carandang said the public can access such data through www.geoportal.gov.ph, the State’s web-based gateway to geographic information on the Philippines.

”Available fundamental data sets in the geoportal are from some 41 agencies already and we’ll add more,” he said Thursday (Jan. 16) on the side of the Good Governance Summit in Metro Manila.

Launch of the geoportal was among activities during the summit.

Government developed such facility through its ‘One Nation, One Map’ Philippine Geoportal Project with NAMRIA as lead agency.

”There’s growing need for spatial information as over 80 percent of needed information has to do with accurately determining location of people, places, things and events,” said Carandang.

He noted through the project, which commenced in 2011, government consolidates and standardizes various agencies’ respective spatial data using NAMRIA’s base map to make the information interoperable with each other.

Climate change and need for disaster risk reduction and management highlight urgency for availability of and accessibility to such information, he continued.

NAMRIA said among the project’s stakeholder agencies are Climate Change Commission as well as the agriculture, environment, energy, education, health, interior, labor, defense, public works, science, social welfare, tourism, trade and transportation departments.

Earlier, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under Department of Agriculture (DA) developed its map library platform to help provide baseline agriculture-related information.

According to BSWM, which is DA’s agency for land resource mapping, over 100 maps covering such information are already available to the public.

Carandang said government incorporated safety measures for ensuring integrity of data in the geoportal.

”Government agencies can update data these provided in the geoportal but the public can’t alter information uploaded there,” he noted.

He expects more agencies and even LGUs to provide respective official data for uploading in the geoportal.

”Our vision is for the Philippines to be a geospatially empowered nation,” he said.

Government spearheaded the Jan. 15-17 summit to help further promote public-private cooperation on good governance and the campaign against corruption.

Good governance, human development and poverty reduction, economic development, climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as security, justice and peace are government’s key goals. (PNA)