The Policy Work of Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Jocelle Batapa – Sigue is immersed in policy work and advocacy since 2004. She is a dynamic and prolific policymaker and policy activist both in the local and national level. She has served as resource speaker and member of House and Senate TWGs on the Creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Bill and in the Senate TWG for the Ease of Doing Business Bill of 2018 or Republic Act No. 11032.

She has participated in hearings and drafted proposals for the Republic Act No. 10844 and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the DICT Law.

With her policy leadership as chair of the Sanggunian Committee on Communications in 2004, stakeholders in the City of Bacolod and the Province of Negros Occidental came together promote Bacolod as a destination for ICT-enabled jobs and investments. She organized group called the Bacolod IT Focus Team, which worked together to develop strategies and programs designed to include Bacolod City and Negros Occidental among the growing centers of innovation in the country, specifically to pursue ICT-readiness and competitiveness as part of the Philippine Cyber Corridor. She prepared all the policy ground work and conducted all the consultations to ensure the readiness of the city of digital jobs.

As chair of the committee on Women and Gender of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, she authored many ordinances pertaining to women such as the Bacolod City Gender and Development Code, The Ordinance creating the Bacolod Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking and The Anti-Worst Forms of Child Labor Ordinance

She served as Chair of Bacolod City Gender and Development or GAD Council from 2004 to 2010.

She is the Founder of Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society (ATLAS) and currently the chairman of the Board of Voice of the Free (formerly Visayan Forum Foundation), a national network against human trafficking and child exploitation where she continues her policy advocacy for the rights of women and children.

During her last term as city councilor, she was given the opportunity to chair the committees on trade and commerce and tourism and international cooperation, along side the committee on history, culture and arts.

She has also actively promoted policies on environment and ecological preservation as part of her personal advocacy.

As a city councilor for nine years in, she has crafted, authored and led the legislation of major ordinances as follows:

  • C.O. 453 – 2007: Creation of Bacolod Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) and TIP Help Desks in Seaports
  • C.O. 397 S. 2006: Annual Gawad Kooperatiba Awards and Support to Cooperatives
  • C.O. No. 402 S. 2006: Laying the Procedures for SP Endorsement to PEZA of ICT Parks , Buildings, Tourism Development Zones and Economic Zones
  • C.O. No. 404 S. 2006: Celebration of April 22 as Earth Day in Bacolod City
  • C.O. No. 411 S. 2006: Protection and Barangay Registration of Household/Domestic Workers or Kasambahays
  • C.O. 423-2006: The Gender and Development (GAD) Code of Bacolod City
  • Protection of Watershed Areas, Establishing Watershed Development and Water Conservation Programs for Bacolod City
  • C.O. 432-2007: Institutionalization of Programs for Informal Sector Workers and Creating the Informal Sector Workers of Bacolod
  • C.O. No. 438 S. 2007: Observance of June 13 – 19 as Social Work Week and Promotion of Social Work
  • C.O. No. 473 S. 2008: Establishing the Fr. Mauricio Ferrero, OAR Street Ordinance
  • C.O. No. 440 S. 2007: Creation of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Council & Development of ICT Industry (as Co-Author of Councilor Lyndon Cana)
  • C.O. No. 448 S. 2007: Ordinance Implementing the Law Against Worst Forms of Child Labor and Developing Strategies to Lessen Child Labor in Bacolod such as the Intensive Implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program
  • C.O. 449-2007: Observance of December 1 – 7 as Non-Government Organization-People’s Organizations (NGO-PO) Week
  • C.O. No. 468 S. 2008: Prevention of Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STI), Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) &  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) & Creation of Bacolod Local STI/HIV/AIDS Council
  • Reduction of Police Clearance Fees for Purposes of Voter’s Registration
  • C.O. No. 504 S. 2009: Declaration of Bacolod as Organic City (Anti-GMO Ordinance)
  • C.O. No. 514 S. 2009: Procedures for the Development of Medical Tourism Parks and Retirement Villages
  • C.O. 513-2009: Creation of the Bacolod Technology and Livelihood Development Center
  • C.O. No. 485 S. 2009: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Measures Ordinance and Implementation of Strategies to Mitigate Pollution for Transport, Business and Other Sectors
  • C.O. No. 518 S. 2010: Comprehensive Health and Wellness Ordinance and Promotion of Medical Tourism
  • C.O 08-14-680: Promotion and Strengthening of the City of Bacolod as a Choice Destination for National and International Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE)
  • Establishing the Bacolod City Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training Scholarships for Contact Centers, Software Development, Game Development, Animation and other IT Courses
  • Declaring February of Every Year as Bacolod Arts Month (BAM)
  • C.O. 08-14-679: Stronger Penalties for Vandalism in Bacolod City and Strategies to Enjoin Schools in the Fight Against Vandalism
  • Regulation of the Commercial Sale of Spray Paint Cans in Bacolod
  • C.O. 08-14-686: Prescribing Mechanics of the Masskara Festival Celebration and setting the Cultural standards of the Festival, and Prescribing Procedures for Accountability of Third Party Organizers
  • Institutionalizing a Tourism Homestay Program for Bacolod City and Setting Global Standards for Homestay facilities in Bacolod
  • C.O. 08-15-756: Ensuring Effective Implementation of Food Safety Standards in Bacolod City and the Implementing Rules and Regulations
  • C.O. 08-14-673: Creating the Bacolod Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council
  • C.O. 08-15-725: Establishing the Bacolod Business Promotions and Investments Week and Setting the Bacolod Trade Expo identifying Key Promotion Areas: Agriculture, Food and related industries, Gifts, Housewares, Decors and Other Craft-Based Industries, Manufacturing and other Industrial Business, Information and Communications Technology and Other Technology-Based Industries Tourism, Hospitality, Health and Wellness and Other Service Industries
  • C.O. 08-15-738: Establishing the Bacolod City Ordinance Awareness Week
  • C.O. 08-16-775: Establishing Guidelines for the Selection of the  Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO) 


  1. The “Walkable City” Ordinance of Bacolod, Prescribing Strategies to Improve the Pedestrian And Road-Sharing Experience in Bacolod  (Proposed September 2014 – originally names as “Setback Ordinance)
  2. Creating the Charter for a Polytechnic University in Bacolod and Converting the Bacolod City College for that Purpose
  3. Establishing Central Business Districts in Bacolod
  4. Every First Week of July of Every Year As Cleft And Craniofacial Awareness And Prevention Week In The City Of Bacolod
  5. Ordinance Declaring Specific Major Roads in the City as Tourism Roads (Proposed November 2014)
  6. An Ordinance Creating the Bacolod Youth Development Council (BYDC) Proposed September 2014

As part of her advocacy for ICT she has conceptualized, crafted and implemented various programs related to her policy work. As a proponent of ICT in government, she developed the major concepts behind the annual eGovernance Awards for ICT Excellence for LGUs as chair of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The eGov Awards, after 6 years, is now under the auspices of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as Digital Governance Awards. Under her watch, she developed four more categories aside from the original categories, which are G2C (Government to Citizens) and G2B (Government to Business) – these are G2G (Government to Government), G2W (Government to The World), D2G (Data to Government) and P2G (Payment to Government).

In her capacity as NICP co-founder, she has been to almost fifty provinces to assist local government units in crafting policies for ICT jobs and investment generation. She has been invited to share policy insights in other countries like Guatemala, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Bangladesh and the US.

She also conceptualized and crafted policy proposals in her capacity as founder of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) – namely: The ICT Startups Equipment Support (ISES) with the Department of Science and Technology, Business Resource Center – Shared Services Facilities (BRC-SSF) with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) program with the Province of Negros Occidental.

She served as consultant for the Province of Negros Occidental and was responsible in designing policies to create ICT-enabled jobs and investments for the province.

Last 2018, AVPN-BMW Foundation Policy Leadership Lab has cited Jocelle Batapa Sigue as Policy Innovation Fellow of the Philippines from June 2018 to June 2019, 2019. The purpose of the fellowship is to cultivate the next generation of social economy policy leaders across Asia and to identify policymakers who share the commitment to build a vibrant and high impact philanthropy and social investment community in their countries. Building on the AVPN Asia Policy Forum (APF) and BMW Foundation’s Responsible Leaders Network, the Lab offers high-touch and in-depth peer-learning, networking and capacity building opportunities for a select group of policymakers with AVPN membership and stakeholders.

This leadership experience leverages on annual programme cycle of Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) Asia Policy Forum, Membership and Knowledge Center activities headquartered in Singapore and BMW Foundation global activities, to provide extensive opportunities for learning and connecting with stakeholders that share the similar experiences and objectives.

Today, she continues her work to explore policy strategies in creating seamless education to employment goals anchored on the development of Future of Work skills, specifically digital skills among tertiary level students. Her direction is to engage policy makers from local to national level in government, academe and business sectors.

To reach out and request for copies of policy work and proposals, please email

Related Links:

SP approves health and wellness ordinance

Bacolod SP gives tribute to city’s vice mayors as part of Ordinance Week

Bacolod City pushed as choice MICE destination

Bacolod City Inaugurates Fr. Mauricio Ferrero Street

Bacolod Arts Month On

The Officers of the Bacolod City Gender and Development (GAD) Council 2007-2010
At the Senate hearing of the DICT Bill
Leading the formulation of strategies of the Bacolod IT Focus Team
At the Senate Hearing re Ease of Doing Business Law
With Board of Voice of the Free
With Earth Day Advocates
Signing of Ubiquity Global Services and Province of Negros Occidental
MICE Stakeholders of Bacolod
BNEFIT Organizational Workshop on November 6-7, 2007

Published by Jocelle Batapa Sigue

ATTY. JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE • Named as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service of the Philippines or TOWNS for 2016 in the field of Information and Communications Technology or ICT • Positions: Past Vice President (2018) and Past President (2010-2012) and Past Trustee (2013-2017) of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines or NICP • Founder, Former President and Current Executive Director of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT or BNEFIT • Served for 3 terms as councilor of Bacolod City • Chosen as one of Asia Society Top Ten Philippines 21 Young Leaders in 2009 • Chosen as the Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012 • Awarded as Philippine Individual Contributor of the Year during the International ICT Awards given by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines

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