Countryside Digital Champ Joins DICT

Countryside digital advocate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was appointed as undersecretary for ICT Industry Development of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) under the leadership of Secretary Ivan John Uy. She will also exercise supervision for the ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau (ILCDB), and the National ICT Planning, Policy, and Standards Bureau (NIPPSB) of the DICT.

Batapa-Sigue is known for being a catalyst for digital jobs and opportunities in the countryside. Her passion is to help develop strong ecosystems in the form of ICT councils across the country as a venue for academe, government, and industry to collaborate and develop strategies to generate jobs and investments and drive digital innovation.

In 2007, she led the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT) which worked for the successful inclusion of Bacolod as one of the six Centers of Excellence (COE) in ICT Business Process Management in 2014 and the Tholons International Top 100 Cities in the World for outsourcing destinations in 2010. Bacolod today has surpassed the thirty thousand jobs mark and continues to grow as one of the choice locations of ICT firms in the country.

In 2008, she co-founded the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), an umbrella organization of all ICT councils in every city, province, and region, which is now the widest organization championing collaboration for digital innovation across all sectors in the local level. As president of NICP, she spearheaded the launch of the excellence in local governance through ICT (eGovernance) awards, which was later adopted by the DICT as Digital Governance Awards.

She was named as Philippine Individual Contributor of the Year during the International ICT Awards given by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines in 2014, and as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation Service (TOWNS) awardee in the field of ICT in 2016.

She is the 2012 Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines and one of the 2009 Asia 21 Top Ten Young Leaders by Asia Society – Philippines. She also served as consultant to the Negros Occidental ICT Investments Program and proponent of the Negros First Technology Business Incubator, the first ICT incubator in Negros Occidental in 2014.

In 2019, she served as Digital Transformation Consultant for the Tatak Pinoy Policy Program of the Office of Senator Sonny Angara where she helped design laws for the Philippines to thrive in the digital age. She is a certified Go Negosyo Coach and Digitalization Mentor under the Department of Trade and Industry; and technical consultant for the Digital Cities Program of the DICT in 2021.

She also served as city councilor of Bacolod for nine years from 2004 to 2007, 2007 to 2010, and 2013 to 2016, where she chaired the Committee on Communications and Women.

She holds various certificates for online courses in Design Thinking from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and for Data for Effective Policy Making, from the Inter-American Development Bank, and Understanding Economic Development from Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

She is a lawyer and law professor for Legal Research and Legal Ethics since 1998 at the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1997. She finished her Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos in 1993.

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