DAVAO CITY – This city has jumped to one of the world’s 100 super cities and the only one in Mindanao not only because of its thriving business outsourcing sector, but also the city government’s digital transformation.
This was disclosed Thursday by Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, the chief of the ICT Industry and Countryside Development of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), who cited the city government’s digital transformation specifically in public safety, disaster resiliency, quality of life and infrastructure.
Ibrahim said Davao City has joined other Philippine super cities–Bacolod, Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu–in the list of global advisory firm Tholons, which looks into innovation, start-up ecosystem, and digital transformation as components to define the Services Globalization Country Index.
He also cited the city government’s information system projects that pushed this city to make it to the list of super cities.
With this, Ibrahim said the DICT will further boost the ranking of Davao City and wished other cities in Mindanao would level up and pushed innovation initiatives.
“We want Davao City to move up in the ranking to make it an inspiration to other cities in the Philippines,” he told a press conference after the opening ceremony of the two-day 2018 National ICT Summit at the SMX Convention Center here on Thursday.
Aside from its thriving IT and BPO, Ibrahim said the city was also recognized for its IT professionals and the active involvement of the Davao ICT Council headed by lawyer Samuel Matunog.
“The city is really producing very good talented graduates from different universities here,” he said.
Ibrahim said Dabawenyos must be proud of the city’s initiatives in digital transformation. Ibrahim said there is already a move to make Davao City a center of excellence, citing the city’s BPO sector’s contribution to the economy and jobs. He said BPOs in Davao provided 40,000 direct jobs.
In her welcome speech at the 2018 National ICT Summit, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio recognized the importance of the IT in good governance and economic growth.
Duterte-Carpio said the city government through its City Information Technology Center (CITC) is relentlessly advocating ICT to the development of various information systems (IS).
She said the city government will continue to develop information systems to improve public governance and business processes.
Currently, the mayor said there are three ongoing IS projects related to income generation for development, enhancement of market stall and occupational business permits.
It is also working on nine clustered systems under public governance meant to support internal business process including systems for tourism information management, agricultural records, public utility driver’s information and vehicle profiling.
She said the vehicle profiling is being used by the Task Force Davao to prevent, detect and respond to possible threats that is an affirmation how digital transformation can leverage government processes such as public safety.
The mayor also underscored the IS as an adherence to the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“Let this forum elevate us to the realm of e-governance development elevate in both public and private sectors towards combatting system corruption, dissolving digital divide and promoting global competitiveness,” she said.
The mayor recognized the ICT as an integral tool in good governance, adding that it serves as an access point to economic expansion.
Long way to go
Acting ICT Secretary Eliseo Rio said the annual gathering of ICT managers and executives is the perfect venue to share common vision of fully harnessing ICT as the empowering tool for the Filipinos and the driving force for the country’s economy.
Although it is still a long way to go, Rio said the digital transformation would not be completed as long as there are still areas unserved and underserved of connectivity, or people complaining about internet speed, or government services still make people wait in long lines.
“We are continuing to work on our priority projects of speeding up online government services through the National Government Portal and establishing free Wi-Fi in Public places,” Rio said.
Initiatives have been made, he said, including the signing the Tripartite Agreement of DICT, the National grid Corporation of the Philippines and TransCO for the government’s indefeasible and cost-free use of the dark fiber network.
Rio said it is a huge step in achieving the National Broadband Plan towards a faster and affordable internet in the country, including Davao.
Organized by the DICT in partnership with the Chief Information Officers Forum, Inc. (CIOF) and the CIOF Foundation, the two-day National ICT Summit is aimed at showcasing various government information and communication technology (ICT) projects.
It is an annual avenue for information sharing, presentation and discussion of programs, initiatives, policies, innovative paradigms and solutions, and resolution of ICT issues and concerns. (Lilian C. Mellejor and Armando Fenequito Jr/PNA)