SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Here’s one good news for the environment: The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has embraced a new culture of a virtually paperless office. And it saves big money, too.
According to Marlo Zerrudo, officer in charge of the SBMA Information Technology Department, the Subic agency has introduced an in-house document management system that facilitates digital archiving and retrieval of office documents and forms.
Dubbed as the Structured Archive and Retrieval System (SARS), which was jointly developed by Ed Michael Cruz and Jan Aries Gomez of SBMA’s Corporate Communications office, the new system is essentially scan-based and stores scanned memoranda, letters and forms used by the agency. Under the system, all correspondence and forms are scanned and archived, with delivery and distribution to addressee-departments and employees done through the agency’s Google-powered corporate e-mail accounts. Zerrudo also stressed that only documents and forms that require the signature of SBMA officials are printed for hard copies. This enables the agency to save on paper, printer toner, and photocopying services. More importantly, SARS is web-based. Users of the system can access file documents and forms anytime, anywhere with the use of 3G-enabled PCs, tablets and even smart phones. As part of the preparation for the full use of the system, each SBMA department has been assigned two document management officers who have been trained to use the system and are now responsible for their respective department’s document flow.
“With this system, the agency can enjoy cost savings of up to P12.5 million in operating and capital expenses this year, as we can do away with the procurement of an off-the-shelf document management system that costs P9 million,” Zerrudo said. The remaining P3.5-million savings will be realized from the expected 50 per cent decrease in the agency’s P7 million annual budget for bond paper, printer toner and photocopying services. With this, SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia urged all SBMA employees to help make the system work, so that the target savings could be achieved. “We always welcome smart and innovative ways of doing work here, especially when they are developed by our own employees, and generate savings and faster turnaround time,” Garcia said.
“Data are an essential component of effective management. With this system in place, we now have easy and faster access to high-quality and reliable information in support of more responsive decision-making and service delivery,” he added.
Since the implementation of SARS in May of this year, close to five gigabytes of the Agency’s official documents and forms have been stored digitally in the system.