Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MMDA's Hi-Tech Public Service

Here in the Philippines, many government offices are still a bit conservative in utilizing technology to provide efficient, helpful public service. Maybe it comes with the age of officials, or perhaps the lack of budget to hire the right people and purchase the appropriate equipment in order to operate new services.

While some are just starting to engage us Filipinos through Internet tools, it is good to recognize the efforts of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which has made use of technology to really make our lives better, at least in Metro Manila.

How did I say that MMDA provides good public service with the use of technology?

 Because of their Website
The rise of mobile users subscribed to data plans makes it very convenient to surf the web and gather information on a day to day basis, if needed and when needed.

Having this in perspective, MMDA’s website ( is a good tool for information dissemination.
They make sure that news items are always timely and updated.

Information on new regulations, messages from the head of office, list and photos of violators, and applications forms for different purposes are easily accessible through their website.

Because of their Social Media efforts
People are hungry for information. Whether in transit, at home or at work, we always make it a point to check Twitter or Facebook for updates from friends and helpful entities. In this way, we get acquainted to what’s happening and what to expect out there.

As such, the MMDA’s fast, reliable responses and updates on Twitter ( and Facebook ( only signify their good intention of providing the Filipinos the best possible kind of help they can extend.

Because of their Traffic Navigator and iPad/iPhone App
Obviously, not everyone has gone with the flow of Twitter and Facebook. So when we want to pull information about the traffic situation in several parts of Metro Manila, there’s the MMDA Traffic Navigator ( that provides helpful tips on which roads to spare and what streets to drive through instead.

For the people who are always mobile, we may opt to download the MMDA iOS app for free via the App Store. The app does not only provide updates on traffic situation, but also a guide on different laws and policies of MMDA (UVVRP, violations/penalties, smoking, etc.) Currently, they are already working on creating the same portable app for other operating systems.

Accessible in any computer or tablet, traffic monitoring has never been this hi-tech, especially that the application is color-coded, easy to navigate, and updated once in every few minutes.

The MMDA’s effective use of technology has definitely helped a lot of people lessen the problems on traffic and accident tracking day in and day out. Matched with their efficient public service, the MMDA has surely set a positive tone for other government offices to follow.

What other government offices have provided good public service with the help of technology? Share your thoughts via email at [email protected] or Twitter @GlennOng.

This article is my 33rd contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on September 19, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.

Photo Source: MMDA Website/FB/Twitter, MMDA Traffic Navigator


I like the iOS app, I like their Twitter updates, I like the traffic navigator on their website! And yeah, I like their website, well - minus the autoplay-music-in-the-background-and-there-is-no-stop-button-to-be-found.  But all in all kudos to MMDA!  

Haha! That's also my reaction when I visited the site and a nationalistic song plays. :-p Maybe we can request @MMDA to put a stop button on the website, so anyone who doesn't want to hear the music can choose top stop it.

That's also my reaction when I visited the site and a nationalistic song plays. Maybe we can request @MMDA to put a stop button on the website, so anyone who doesn't want to hear the music can choose top stop it.

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