Monthly Archives: November 2018

ONE Bacolod: A Call For Unity (Part II)

“Do not be a part of the problem – be a part of the solution.” The message is loud and clear – Bacolod is looking for solutions, and not just solutions but innovative and creative solutions built around concensus.

This is the essence of One Bacolod which I launched on November 30 also as a tribute to the life and sacrifice of our national hero, Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution. 

I presented the major problems in Bacolod based on a compilation of surveys in social media. There are more than 20 different answers. In the previous One Bacolod article, I presented the Top 5 problems (aside from political will or leadership and self-discipline). To closely look at the other items, I am sharing the top ten problems based on the graph below: 

Given this problems, I presented solutions in the form of visuals.

Bacolod has a lot of ordinances already. What we need is to inventory and implement the most relevant and urgent. This point gave me the opportunity to share all the ordinances I have authored as a councilor.

I also laid down the basic strategies for effective leadership which I coined as JOBS.

Finally, I needed to emphasize that there is no other way to effect good governance and achieve its ends aside from abiding with the eight tenets prescribed by the United Nations.

The most important idea is to realize that Bacolod will constantly bear the effects of urbanization, pollution, mismanagement of fiscal and non-fiscal resources – if we remain under a kind of leadership that is not open to new ideas and innovation.

One Bacolod is the response to this very exclusive governance happening in Bacolod today. One Bacolod is all about participation and consensus building.

I wish to see more Bacolodnons joining us in this quest for change.

ONE Bacolod: A New Brand of Leadership (Part 1)

Today November 30, I share to the world the collective vision of a city that aspires for change. I chose the call “ONE Bacolod” to symbolize that we have one city, and we all share one dream for our city – to make it the city we can all be truly proud of. 

I have committed to become the voice of this dream. I will reach out to every Bacolodnon to listen to them, to understand their aspirations and get their ideas – so I can become an effective voice for Bacolod.

As I enter one of the most crucial challenges in my life – running for the mayor of the City of Bacolod – I consider this an important reckoning – an opportunity to assess the person you see in the mirror.

I ask myself the most important question today – what is my brand of leadership as the highest leader of a city? What does it mean when we say Jocelle Batapa Sigue leadership? I reflect upon my life as a leader since I was 6, and president of my first grader class until today as I review my curriculum vitae. I see many accomplishments and milestones – but then I still have to go back to the question – so what is it a Jocelle Batapa Sigue brand of leadership?

For me, leadership is not a position. It is a responsibility. It is beyond the title, it is what you are set to accomplish using the title you hold. To easily remember the four basic tenets I follow – I will use my tagline – a branding I have used since my second term as councilor sometime in 2007, or around ten years already – JOBS. Jobs, because I was serious in dedicating myself to the cause of creating information and communications technology (ICT) jobs since my first term began in 2004. That is a long story which is already amply covered by many materials available in the Internet. Creating opportunities for Bacolod in the ICT industry has become not only a committee responsibility since I took on the task s Sanggunian Panlugsod chair of communications and energy in 2004 – but has become an advocacy, a life-long passion until today.

Now JOBS is going beyond just its literal meaning and the fact that it is my initials JO from my first name and B for Batapa and S for Sigue.

J (9)

J is for job generation and investment promotions. The end goal of a series of objectives that need to be accomplished first, such as, but not limited to:

  • Talent Development Roadmap for Bacolod which entails a comprehensive summary and analysis of our available skills in the city across all industries (not just ICT) focused on skilling, upskilling and re-skilling the talent supply, a clear and time-bound set of strategies to develop digital skills across all sectors to prepare the talent pool for the Future of Work, a continuous series of T3s (train the trainers/train the teachers) programs to ensure quality and scale of educational and training programs.
  • Business Environment, Infrastructure, Cost and Ease of Doing Business which are all indicators for the attractiveness of location to the influx of digital jobs or ICT-enabled employment opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures or startups. A mandatory compliance to the provisions of the new Ease of Doing Business law is going to be the first order of the day. There is a need to actively involve the business and private sector in addressing all current bottlenecks like energy supply, peace and order, traffic management, solid waste management and other environmental issues. A strong collaboration between the city and the business sector will serve as a mechanism to identify more relevant strategies along the way and allow for future and long-term planning.
  • Business and Investment Promotions and the need to institutionalize programs to constantly develop investment campaigns for Bacolod across identified potential industries is also in the forefront of my plans.

J (10)O is for Open Governance. A policy direction that is very close to my heart, as a systems thinker, I see the importance of bringing government closer to the people – as way of not only securing valuable feedback but a way to constantly gather ideas and solutions.

Under the concept of an OPEN Bacolod – I have four basic items that spells OPEN.

O for online, real-time easy access of every citizen to facts, data and figures pertaining to the operations, finances and administration of the city. These will entail for all data to be digitized and made available to the public. The use of online procurement system, business permit registration and registration and licensing for other departments and other transactions shall pass from experimental to full operation stage in the soonest possible time.

P is performance scorecards and ratings for public services. In order to ensure and maintain the quality of government services, feedback mechanisms that comes with ratings for each department of the city shall be in place. Top performing agencies shall be duly commended while those with concerns will have to be revisited and improved for efficiency. We shall bring back the trust and confidence of the public for all department of the city and strive to uplift the moral of public employees through incentive program and continuous trainings.

E is for emergency and immediate support services.  The website of Bacolod shall not be static but interactive and hotlines for citizen’s concerns shall be in place. The website shall be fully accessible especially through mobile. The city shall ensure availability of Internet/wi-fi hotspots in major public areas for use during emergency. Closed circuit TV systems, and GPS and other technologies shall be used to ensure 24/7 safety in the city. A well-established central command shall be in place with the mayor having 24/7 direct access and full view of all cameras in major public places. Sensors and other technologies shall also be put in place to detect flood water rise and other calamities. Frontline service providers like social workers, barangay health workers, child development workers and other barangay level personnel having direct access and ability to gather data directly from the source shall be equiped with platforms and systems to  input data real-time to make all city-wide data updated and useful for policy formulation and immediate and relevant action from the city.

N is for new ideas and solutions crowdsourcing. Open governance extends to policy innovation – creating a way to effectively crowd source new ideas and solutions from concerned groups. The city will support the development of startups engaged in developing and deploying technologies which may prove useful for Bacolod to become a smart city – with focus on major points such as transportation, healthcare, business, public services, education, and tourism.

OPEN Governance shall mean investing in available and reasonably priced technology, preferably open source, universal, and replicable technology to boost the eGovernance initiatives of Bacolod.

J (12)

B is for Barangay Development and Empowerment. Under my leadership, I shall empower the barangays to really create significant impact on their constituency through effective power sharing and sharing of resources. The barangays shall be in the frontline of effectively addressing and managing solid waste, all forms of pollution, transportation matters and peace and order within their area of jurisdiction with the full support of the city in terms of resources and technical guidance. Continuous training and development of barangay officials including Sanggunian Kabataan officials shall be a priority of the city. Productive dialogue and consultations between the mayor’s office and the barangays shall take place regularly to ensure collaboration.

J (13)S is for Sectoral Participation and Policy Innovation. Most important ingredient of my leadership is consensus building – a brand of governance that is participatory and consultative. To address concerns and issues in a relevant and responsive way by engaging and empowering the concerned sectors to develop solutions for themselves. The city shall empower each major sector to have access to information and opportunities to raise their concerns to the city – these include informal sector workers such as farmers, fisherfolks, drivers, construction workers, vendors, professionals, teachers, senior citizens, women and children’s groups, PWDs, LGBTs, minorities and many more.

By creating a participatory and consultative environment, I will ensure that under my leadership – respect for the independence of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is observed.  My leadership shall be the start of an era for Policy Innovation. As a former councilor for nine years, I have only my deepest respect for the Sanggunian as an institution and a co-equal body to the executive. Regardless of political affiliations, my leadership will work closely and harmoniously with all elected councilors especially on their concerns as committee chairs. I will objectively collaborate with the Sanggunian in achieving proper implementation of all existing ordinances that are aligned with the urgent needs of the people and direction of my leadership.

Under this premise, the major documents that I wish to see being prepared are the following:

  1. Executive – Legislative Agenda (ELA)
  2. Solid Waste Management Plan
  3. Comprehensive Land Use Plan
  4. Business and Investment Promotions Strategy
  5. Comprehensive Inventory and Monitoring of Ordinances

Under my leadership, the city government shall closely listen to the needs of the people. The top concerns of citizes of Bacolod today are traffic and traffic-related concerns, garbage or waste management and street lights and road maintenance.

Here is a snapshot of a social media survey conducted by a site called “TagaBacolod”. The post got almost 500 comments but some appeared to have been filtered maybe due to its unsuitability for public view or being irrelevant. 

Based on this survey, I will prioritize the 5 key areas:

We cannot continue to be complacent long enough. The real problem of this city is our kind of leaders. Leaders who love to lip service without clear vision. “Pang-masa” – a strategy that has been terribly, so pitifully exploited and abused by all traditional politicians in this country! I am not going to fool the so-called “masa” with promises. 

I initially commit to the following targets not promises from Day 1 and not during the last months of my term:

  1. Exact number of target JOBS within 3 years through concrete, well-studied JOB generation strategies

2. Exact number of target investments and new industries within 3 years through concrete, well-studied JOB generation strategies

3. Exact percentage of clean, safe, well-lighted orderly and useful roads, smart street lights, smart emergency systems, smart and open governance and citizens feedbacking systems 

4. Exact number of trained (skilled, reskilled and upskilled) Bacolodnons for industry calibrated programs to increase the quality and quantity of talent in Bacolod

5. A city hospital with comprehensive e-healthcards for our poor citizens ⁃ a full suite of solid waste policy and programs leading to the zero-waste objectives of Ra 9003 – composed of well mantained MRFs down to the barangay level, waste to energy and waste to fertilizer or waste to concrete blocs technology, tarment plant for hazardous wastes, buy-back centers for recylable waste, paper plants and all types of process to achieve zero waste and regulate and lessen landfill use.

Aside from the things above, I am sure there are many things we need to do and that needs to be done. 

Soon the debates will start, and I pray that the people of Bacolod will be with me in this journey towards creating a brigther future for Bacolod.

MICE Tourism in Bacolod

Concept and Design by Jocelle Batapa-Sigue


(Aproved on July 9, 2014)

Authored by Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue


WHEREAS, in the Asia Pacific Region, as one of the fastest developing regions in the world, MICE industry development can be a key driver of economic growth, regional cooperation and intellectual development. MICE tourism can bring benefits beyond profits and short term jobs to include adding competitive advantage to destinations, diversifying source markets and engaging both hosts and guests in global, regional and local issues.

WHEREAS,MICE event locations are normally bid on by specialized convention bureaus inparticular countries and cities and established for the purpose of bidding onMICE activities. These processes of marketing and bidding are normally conducted well in advance of the event, often several years, assecuring major events can benefit the local economy of the host city orcountry. Convention bureaus may offer financial subsidies to attract MICEevents to their city. MICE tourism is known for its extensive planning anddemanding clientele.

WHEREAS, globalization is playing a leading role in disperse of MICE industry in Asia. That is, networks are formed among Asian members and, therefore, infrastructure which facilitates meetings between the countries is needed. Moreover, the World Tourism Organization acknowledges that developments in this industry can be an essential key driver of economic growth and can strengthen local trade and intellectual engagement.

WHEREAS, many cities in the world today are constantly developing strategies to develop their potential as a MICE industry location.

WHEREAS, the city government of Bacolod recognizes the potential of the city as a MICE industry location of the Philippines and places a premium on continuing private and public sector collaboration to achieve the goal.


ARTICLE 1. SHORT TITLE. The short title of this Ordinance is “The MICE Ordinance of Bacolod City”.

ARTICLE 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY. The City of Bacolod recognizes the value of the following principles:

  1. Strong cooperation between the government and the private sector
  2. Development of a healthy local ecosystem for business, opportunities, investments and jobs generation
  3. Excellent quality of public sector service to attract investments and opportunities
  4. Excellent private sector service and quality human resource to sustain business and investments
  5. Development and implementation of strategies to increase direct and indirect employment, increase in investment, providing incentives to investors and improvement of infrastructure and communications systems
  6. Development and implementation of strategies for de-seasonalization of tourism

ARTICLE 3. DEFINITION OF TERMS. For purposes of this Ordinance, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

  1. MICE refers to meetings, incentives, conferences,and exhibitions (MICE, with the “E” sometimes referringto events and the “C” sometimes referring to conventions) is a typeof tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are broughttogether for a particular purpose. This term encompasses ‘meetingsindustry’ and “events industry”. MICE tourism usually includes awell-planned agenda centered on a theme or topic, such as profession tradeorganization, a special interest group or an education topic. Such tourism isoften a specialized area with its own exhibition, as defined by the International Congress & Convention Association.
  2. Meeting – general term indicating the coming together of a number ofpeople in one place, to confer or carry out a particular activity. Frequency:can be on an ad hoc basis or according to a set pattern, as for instance annualgeneral meetings, committee meetings, and the like as defined by IAPCO (the International Association of ProfessionalCongress Organizers) book called “Meetings Industry Terminology”which functions as a dictionary for the meetings industry.
  3. Incentive – meeting event as part of a programme which isoffered to its participants to reward a previous performance (IAPCO).
  4. Conference – participatory meeting designed for discussion,fact-finding, problem solving and consultation.  As compared with acongress, a conference is normally smaller in scale and more select incharacter – features which tend to facilitate the exchange ofinformation. The term “conference” carries no specialconnotation as to frequency. Though not inherently limited in time,conferences are usually of limited duration with specific objectives. (IAPCO)
  5. Exhibition – Events at which products and services aredisplayed. (IAPCO)
  6. Meetings Industry – Recently, there has been an industrydriven initiative to not use the “MICE Market” label and instead say”The Meetings Industry” which encompasses all the above.

ARTICLE 4.  ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BACOLOD MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS PROMOTIONS BOARD (BMCPB). There is hereby a special committee to be convened by the City Mayor to develop, plan, recommend and help implement strategies and mechanisms to effectively position the City of Bacolod as a destination or location for national and international meetings, incentives, conferences, conventions, events and exhibitions (referred to as MICE hereinafter, for brevity).

Section 1. The BMCPB shall be composed of the following:

  1. City Mayor’s Office
  2. Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry
  3. Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism and International Relations
  4. City Tourism Office
  5. Local Representative from the Department of Trade and Industry
  6. Local Representative from the Department of Tourism
  7. Five (5) representatives from the private sector representatives for tourism, food, hotels and restaurants, travel and tours, convention facilities, souvenirs, and health and leisure destinations.

Section 2. The City Tourism Office shall serve as secretariat to assist BMCPB and supervise the strategies and mechanism developed under this Ordinance in coordination with offices concerned.

Section 3. The City Tourism Office shall take charge in the creation and update of the record of all tourist spots in the City of Bacolod and inventory of all tourism facilities.

ARTICLE 5.   DEVELOPMENTOF INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE THE ENTRY OF MICE. The BMCPB in coordination with the Local Investment Board shall developappropriate fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the private and businesssector to continuously and aggressively attract the MICE industry to Bacolodsubject to the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Section 1. To help the BMCPB, a Bacolod Conventions Bureau (BCB) shall be created to engage in the active promotion and implementation of strategies and support for the MICE industry to the City of Bacolod. It shall also handle and assist inquiries related to MICE in the City of Bacolod.

ARTICLE 6. DEVELOPMENTOF PROGRAMS TO DEVELOP GLOBALLY-READY MICE PROFESSIONALS. The local academicinstitutions shall be encourage to develop courses, trainings and competenciesto cultivate and develop quality professionals necessary to serve therequirements of the MICE industry in Bacolod. Towards this end, the City shallcoordinate regular programs and activities to develop customer-centricservices, certifications and accreditation of professional MICE workers, benchmarking of local MICE industry with global standards, andprofessionalizing the human resources linked to business tourism.

Section 1. Schools in Bacolod City shall be encouraged to have on-the-job training programs to expose students to actual conventions.

Section 2. Hotels and restaurants in Bacolod City shall be encouraged to continue with employees’ development.

ARTICLE 7. DEVELOPMENT OF BASELINE DATA TO SERVE AS BASIS FOR MICE PROGRAMS. The BMCPB shall cause the development of reasonable system to collate and analyze data related to MICE such as number of available rooms, types and price ranges, available support facilities such as restaurants, airlines, souvenir shops, health and wellness spas, tourist attractions and the like, number of meetings and participants per year as experienced in at least the last ten years, type of meeting by geographical area of origin of registered participants, seasonality, average number of participants, average duration and median duration of stay in the city, survey of “level of satisfaction of registered participants”, average daily expenditure and economic impact of participants and of accompanying persons and the impact of meetings and conventions on employment and its comparison with the same impact on tourism in general.

Section 1. The BMCPB devise a tourism strategy to capture tourist data to also include list of all available tourist accommodation facilities, but not limited to hotels, and shall also include “bed and breakfast” establishments, which offers overnight accommodation and breakfast but usually does not offer other meals.

Section 2. The BMCPB shall develop strategies for quality home stay program and artist residency.

Section 3. The BMCPB shall also conduct market research for products that are attractive or appealing to tourist with the help of showroom operators and other product manufacturers.

ARTICLE 8. DEVELOPMENT OF MECHANISMS TO ENCOURAGE INBOUND TOURISM. The BMCPBshall assist the City of Bacolod in developing strategies to attract inbound tourism by defining specific strategies for the market to increase the City’s level of competitiveness, identify and recommend required infrastructure, generate a methodology for the evaluation of possible events to be hosted, participate in fairs and congresses, supports bids, and in parallel develops other products for outbound accounts and forge strategic alliances with the varied actors of the industry like airline and service vehicle companies.

Section1. In order for Bacolod City to become globally-ready for international assemblies, global standards must be encouraged in hotels and other tourist destinations such as standard size of rooms and services, tourist buses, installed CCTVs and deployment of tourist police. To encourage the private sector, incentives may be provided through the Local Investment Board.

ARTICLE 9. ENCOURAGING TRADE MISSIONS.  The City of Bacolod shall develop trade missions to other countries. The MICE Committee shall assist in the organization of international trip by government officials and business people for purpose of exploring international business opportunities.

Section 1. The Call Center Hotline for Bacolod shall be established to effectively provide callers with accurate and timely information and refer callers to services and resources for further help.

Section 2. The BCB shall create a standard information desk to be designated to all shopping centers in the City of Bacolod.

Section 3. The City of Bacolod through the BCB shall interface with the provincial government for all tourism-related activities.

ARTICLE 10. PRODUCTION OF PROMOTION COLLATERALS. The City Tourism Office in consultation with the BCB and the Local Investment Board shall design, recommend and cause the production of various promotion collaterals such as brochures, social media materials, magazines, audio-visual presentation, souvenirs and the like to promote Bacolod City as a location for MICE.

ARTICLE 11. INCENTIVES FOR ORGANIZERS. The BCBshall approve the application for grant of incentives andassistance for convention organizers, such as but not limited to the following:

ARTICLE 12. BUDGET.   The City shall allocate an annual budget of at least One Million Pesos (PhP1, 000,000.00) beginning for purposes of this ordinance.

ARTICLE 13. SUPPLETORY APPLICATION.   This Ordinance Nos shall have suppletory effect to the other related Ordinances.

ARTICLE 14. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. Should any portion of this Ordinance be declared ultra vires unconstitutional  by  competent  authority,  the  remainder not so  affected  shall continue  to  be  in full  force  and  effect  insofar  as  it  is  susceptible  to  enforcement  and application.

ARTICLE 15. EFFECTIVITY. This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon approval.

Concept and Design by Jocelle Batapa-Sigue
Concept and Design by Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Concept and Design by Jocelle Batapa-Sigue