The history of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) situation in the Provincial Government of Bohol dates back to the 95’s-96’s during the time of then Governor Rene L. Relampagos, wherein the Province of Bohol was among the eleven (11) Provinces that implemented a USAID-assisted project called Governance and Local Development or G.O.L.D. This technical assistance provided direction to the human resource management and organizational development efforts of PGBh, which include ICT. Back then, a handful of IT practitioners were lodged at the Office of the Governor who composed the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Unit of the G.O. Within the program period, Real Property Tax Information System (RPTIS) was given focus with staff from the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) were trained on Geographic Information System (GIS) software, wherein its application was used in the survey of the Minimum Basic Needs (MBN).
The desire of the Provincial Government of Bohol for office automation continued when a group of fifteen (15) employees were sent to a short-term training on Database Management and GIS from May 22, 2006-October 5, 2006 supported by the Philippine-Australia Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF) of AUSAID. This short-term training included a two-week benchmarking activity to the Province of Bulacan which provided the participants an opportunity to interact with the IT personnel, observed actual Database operation, GIS and other information systems. Of this 15 employees, three (3) were sent to Australia to undergo a long-term training on Post-Graduate Diploma in IT in various universities of Australia in 2009.
In 2008, the Local Governance Development Project (LGDP) of AUSAID also supported for the establishment of Enhanced Tax Revenue and Collection System (ETRACS) version 0, focused on the collection modules initially implemented in the PGBh and Maribojoc, Bohol. This was the pre-cursor of ETRACS version 2.2 currently implemented in twenty five (25) municipalities of the Province.
The Bohol Information Technology Office (BITO) was created through a Executive Order No. 1, series of 2007 dated January 4, 2007 with the following mandate – “Establishing the Information Technology Office (ITO) in the Provincial Government of Bohol to computerize strategic operations of the Provincial Government in accordance with Section 474 and 465 (b) of the Local Government Code of 1991 and Memorandum Circular No. 19, series of 1992, of the Civil Service Commission. It aimed to conceptualize, develop IT programs and projects for the benefit of the PGBh and specifically complementing its strategic vision and mission. The major functions include but not limited to the computerization and streamlining of manual systems and processes of the PGBh.
The issuance of Executive Order No. 07, series of 2010 paved the way for the establishment of the Bohol Information, Communications Technology Office (BICTO) which later on converted into a Unit under the Office of the Governor at the ground floor of the main capitol Building. The BICTU is mandated to lead in providing institutional support to the PGBh in the use of ICT and geo- database to increase efficiency in service delivery and to enhance management information systems towards good governance and sustainable development.
The continued support of AUSAID through the Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF) strengthened the ICT directions of the PGBh. PRMF provided for the infrastructure to support the network backbone, IBM servers, plotter, softwares (Arc GIS, RHEL, Windows 2008 server R-2) and other ICT equipment. Capacity Development (CD) activities were also provided by PRMF to capacitate the staff of BICTU in making sure that ICT initiatives and plans are effectively and efficiently carried out.