As part of its goal to create jobs and opportunities and promote innovation in the Municipality of Baler, Province of Aurora, Mayor Rhett Ronan Angara signed Executive Order No. 66 Series of 2020 last September which creates the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council of Baler.
Mayor Angara challenged everyone that – together, we can all jump to the 21st century. I hope this starts to strengthen relationships, establish linkages with various sectors and stakeholders of all municipalities.
The key objective of creating out ICT council is to adopt the organizational model that brings together movers and key decision makers from the public or government sector (local or national line agencies), academe and human resource, and private or business and industry sector. The ICT council will serve platform to set directions to position Baler as a strategic location for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.
EO 66 states that the ICT Council shall be driven by the following objectives:
- Talent Development
- Creation of Local Programs Anchored on Innovation
- Generate Jobs and Investments
- Promotions and Marketing – Promote Baler as ICT Hub in Aurora
- Promote eGovernance: Ease of Doing Business
- Promote Tech-preneurship and Development of Start Ups
- Improve Business Environment and Risk Management
- Organization and Management of ICT Council
The Council shall exercise the following functions:
- Act as policy-making body on matters pertaining to and affecting the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development and innovation programs in the municipality of Baler;
- Approve action plan leading to the development of ICT in the municipality;
- Devise strategies to address issues and concerns affecting the growth and development of the sector in the locality;
- Establish linkage with the business sector and other stakeholders in the municipality for issue identification and resolution;
- Establish linkages with provincial, regional, national and international organizations and institutions for the development of ICT sector in Baler.
Stakeholders and members of the Baler ICT Council gathered on November 5, 2020 for a launching and orientation ceremony organized by the Tatak Pinoy Digital Transformation Team under the Office of Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara with senior officials Atty. Fatima Panongtongan, Jess Abalos and Mikey Abola.
National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) led by president Michael Tiu Lim of Zamboanga ICT Council congratulated Baler for their aggressiveness in creating digital jobs. Lim was joined by Joeven Tansi of Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT), Danah Fortunato of Dumaguete Negros Oriental ICT Council and Teresita Leabres of Cavite ICT Council who served as resource speakers in the afternoon workshop.
Co-founder and former president of NICP Jocelle Batapa-Sigue designed and facilitated the cluster workshops which yielded various recommendations from stakeholders present.
Mayor Angara thanked all he participants and the team of Senator Angara for helping in the creation of the ICT council.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, we have experienced so many setbacks. A lot of people were greatly affected and a lot has changed since then. Now, we conduct meetings virtually which is part of the “new normal”, Mayor Angara said.
I believe that e-commerce is the future, we have to adapt with new innovations. And through the formation of Baler ICT Council, with the help of NICP, this will generate income, promote e-Governance which makes transactions faster, develop talent through training and workshops, and promote local communities as prime spots for IT businesses. This will open doors for everyone, he added.
Senator Angara whose family hails from Baler envisions the town to serve as a strong catalyst for digital jobs and opportunities to come to Aurora.