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Learnings from Taiwan: Building Digital Cities Through Open Governance

The emergence of “smart” or “digital cities” is fueled by the need to find new solutions to old problems, driven more by innovation aside from new technologies. Cities need to understand how development of startups in their localities can address the urgent requirements of their growing population especially in the urban areas. By opening government to its citizens especially in the area policy innovation, creating traditional and online platforms to solicit solutions, governments are able to harness ideas of the communities. Policy makers would have to take a step back an analyze how nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset among its young people can lead to solutions for their own cities. The mission appears to be huge, seeing the number of key actors who will play a vital role in eventually creating smart solutions.

By cities, we mean smaller groups within a country and its various regions, districts and provinces that live as one cohesive unit in a distinct location or area within a nation, availing of or sharing common services under one government instrumentality. Normally a city itself is distinct from its political body that governs it which is usually referred to as local government. Hence, citizens, can always have good reviews about its own city, but not its local government.

The recent Global Entrepreneurship Conference (GEC) + Taipei 2018 in Taipei last September 27-29 run under the theme “Enabling Social Impact with AI + IoT” provided interesting insights on policy innovation for creating smart cities. One of the GEC’s highlights is a panel focusing on “Entrepreneurship Nurturing: Interaction between Thriving City and Startup Growth” and Taipei, hosting the GEC for the first time, is an ideal venue for this discussion. Taipei city government established its Taipei Smart City Project Management Office (TPMO) in 2016 to introduce innovative solutions and become a matchmaking platform for public-private partnership. The goal is to transform the whole city into a living lab and make creativity as Taipei’s DNA. More details can be found in the Smart City Taipei website.

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Taipei City focuses on five major themes: Smart Transportation, Smart Public Housing, Smart Healthcare, Smart Education, and Smart Payment. According to its website, by adopting Proof of Concept (POC) model, Taipei open up its fields to all kinds of innovative solutions for trial.

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Taipei adopts a holistic approach towards becoming a smart city. The design hits three major targets that complements each other but are three distinct and separate thrusts, namely, bring innovation into government cross-cutting projects and smart city projects, open up channels of communication, allowing citizens to communicate directly with authorities; and provide industry opportunities and promote innovative solutions through proof of concept (POC) model.

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Taiwan Digital Minister Audrey Tang with AVPN – BMW Foundation Policy Innovation Fellow Jocelle Batapa-Sigue at GEC + Taipei

Digital Minister Audrey Tang shared during the GEC how Taiwan has initiated open governance. Tang, a Taiwanese free software program known as one of Taiwan’s great minds in computing, as a minister without portfolio joined the cabinet in 2016. Since then, she has been working closely with policy makers and implementors to initiate tech-driven solutions for social problems and needs of the country and to bridge the digital divide between generations. Taiwan has trailblazed open governance to create solutions on a regular basis.

Tang, a digital activist, started vTaiwan, known as an experimental platform in participatory governance where civil society is collaborating with government and knowing its functions.  vTaiwan consist of open-source tools for collecting policy proposals, information sharing, open debates on issues and holding polls. The project faces several challenges especially on the side of traditional and conservative government leaders.

Cities in the Philippines have a lot to learn from Taiwan’s model, notwithstanding, the targetted initiatives have begun seven years ago. In 2012, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the late Jesse Robredo, and the Cyber City Teleservices Philippines Inc. (CCTP) launched the Awards for Excellence in Governance through ICT for Local Government Units (eGov Awards).

The eGov Awards recognizes local government units (LGUs), these includes cities, provinces and municipalities in the Philippines, for their best practices in utilizing ICT to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and other stakeholders.

This year, the eGov Awards was adopted by the Digital Cities PH framework of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), a new department create only in 2016. DICT continues the project under its Digital Governance component with the same objectives, which are to highlight and encourage the effective and efficient the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by LGUs using ICT as major tool and to share and replicate innovative practices, and commend, collate and document LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s. The program also aims to improve the business development, social services and the general ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and/or invest in the growth of the LGU’s and to promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance responsibility and encourage innovation.

Noting all the learning in the advocacy for e-governance solutions or solutions the integrate the use of ICT in government, here are some major recommendations for project implementors:

First, focus on the social problem that needs to be solved and not the technology. The idea that revolve around available the technologies and resources is an erroneous approach. The goal is to create significant positive change by directly addressing a problem, a bottleneck in the government system or service and to find and design solutions.

One POC is the Taipei Main Station application which provides real-time guidance to the public not only about information on train schedules and routes but where to shop, dine and find immediate services. The system comes with indoor navigation barrier-free functionality with maps, locations and directions. The system as a complete companion to point our nearest ticket counters, ATM, rest rooms and other points of interest and facilities.  The technologies are designed to be user-friendly and responsive.

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The Philippine eGOV Awards calls for four criteria – innovative management or the degree to which the system explored, applied and managed the elements and “outside-the-box” strategies that brought about its success; impact or the major results of the system, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service; relevance or how the entry relates to the overall objectives of the local government for a particular segment or sector; and replication potential and sustainability. Impact and relevance are emphasized to ensure that solutions are not only about the technology but how it addresses the concern.

Second, harness citizens participation of open governance is generating solutions. Taiwan has been a trailblazer in operationalizing open governance to create solutions on a regular basis. Their system allows citizens to suggest and propose solutions for real problems experience and crates a process flow that eventually leads to experimenting, prototyping and institutionalizing solutions that are found to be effective. Governments of cities must be open to suggestions from its own citizens as much or even more than external vendors since end-user feedback directly addresses major pain-points, thus allowing solutions to evolve and become more effective.

By focusing on the solutions, the view that technology is an expense, and usually expensive, will change to it being an investment that eventually yield social returns. The focus of Smart Taipei is on the social issues and solutions and not the technology. Technology becomes a tool to address the bottlenecks, problems and concerns of the community.

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Third, create strategies to encourage startup companies which have the technical knowledge as well as the passion to effect social impact to participate in building smart cities solutions. Programs and avenues to develop the entrepreneurial mindset of young people is an important aspect. Startups are mostly composed of millennials, who are out to make a difference but would mostly need support from government and various sectors. By creating an ecosystem that facilitates the emergence of startups, giving them the needed support in various areas like funding, mentorship, incubator or accelerator facilities, legal services and business development will need to be in place.

Attention must be given to key issues affecting viability of startup companies to compete with large and well-established companies in bidding for smart city contracts. Two areas cited during the GEC + Taiwan conference were intellectual property and compliance. For countries like the Philippines, a more robust promotion of intellectual property rights is needed especially for tech startups.

The over-arching need, however, is for policy to support innovation. The three key points discussed could be more effectively addressed with the present of policies that will drive processes to become more responsive not just disruptive, for generation of ideas to be more inclusive and for startups to become formal sources of innovative solutions towards building smart cities.


About the Author: Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, a professor and attorney-at-law, and co-founder of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines and the Philippine ICT Innovation Network is one of 13 fellows selected to be part of the AVPN Policy Leadership Lab from June 2018 to June 2019. This Lab is a Fellowship programme designed and operated by Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Limited, a funders network headquartered in Singapore, representing 500 members that mobilise capital and resources for impact in Asia-Pacific (“AVPN”, http://avpn.asia). The Fellowship is possible with the partnership of BMW Foundation, whose Responsible Leaders Network underscores their support for programmes that cultivate policymakers that take leadership roles to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lab cultivates the next generation of social economy policy leaders across Asia by identifying 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, http://avpn.asia/asiapolicyforum) 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 AVPN’s Asia Policy Forum, Membership and Knowledge Center activities and BMW Foundation global activities (where applicable), to provide extensive opportunities for learning and connecting with stakeholders that share the similar experiences and objectives.  She will explore policy strategies in creating seamless education to employment goals anchored in 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. Jocelle looks forward to collaborating with various institution to achieve the goals of the Fellowship.

Luzon LGUs Bag 10 of 17 Digital Cities PH eGOV Awards 2018

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Department of ICT Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, NICP President Dr. Antonio del Carmen and eGovenance Project Lead (2012-2018) Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue thank the Board of Evaluators for the Digital Cities PH Awards for Best Practices in eGovernance for LGUs.

Ten local government units in Luzon bagged ten out of seventeen championship trophies during the The Digital Cities PH Awards for Best Practices in eGovernance (DCP eGOV Awards) during the awarding rites held last October 12 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila.

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Senator Sonny Angara, Senate chair for Local Government, delivering an inspiration message during the awards night.

The champion LGUs are the municipalities of San Mateo in Rizal, Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro, Cavinti in Laguna, Baliwag in Bulacan and Bayamban in Pangasinan, the cities of Naga, Calapan, and Marikina and the Province of Batangas.

Two championship awards went to Cebu City, and one each for the province of Cebu and the municipality of Loon, province of Bohol. The province of Davao del Norte won all the first place trophies for Mindanao.

The DCP eGOV Awards started in 2012 as the Awards for Excellence in Governance through ICT for Local Government Units (eGov Awards) initiated by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) with the support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Cyber City Teleservices Philippines,

This year, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) adopted the project under its Digital Cities PH framework. The awards recognize local government units (LGUs) for their best practices in utilizing ICT to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and other stakeholders.

There are six categories, namely Customer Empowerment (G2C), Business Empowerment (G2B), Government Inter-Operability (G2G), Digital Finance (G2P), Data-Driven Governance (D2G) and Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W). For each category, there three levels – for provinces, municipalities and cities. All entries are judges according to four criteria, namely innovative management, impact or the major results, effects and benefits of the system, relevance to the overall objectives of the local government, and replication potential and sustainability.

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DICT Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim welcomes  attendees to the awards night.

Here is the complete list of results:

Best in eGOV Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award – This category recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices  using ICT  solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services.

Cities:

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1st – MARIKINA [Correspondence Session: The Marikina City Model]

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2nd – CAGAYAN DE ORO [PWD ID Online Application]

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3rd – BAGUIO [Online Public Assistance and Complaint Desk (OPACD)]

Provinces:

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1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Public Caravan Information System (PCIS)]

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2nd – COMPOSTELA VALLEY [Comval i-Portal]

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3rd – ILOILO [Iloilo Province-Wide Eelectronic Assessment and Collection System (eAssyscols)]

Municipalities:

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1st – PINAMALAYAN, ORIENTAL MINDORO [Pinamalayan Community eCenter]

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2nd – MAUBAN, QUEZON [Mauban eLearningVille]

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3rd – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Bayambang Emergency Response System]

Best in eGOV Business Empowerment (G2B) Award – This category awards the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT  solutions and the commitment of its  administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business  opportunities.

Cities:

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1st CALAPAN Electronics Business Inspection Monitoring System (E-BIMS) Mobile Application

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2nd – ORMOC [In House Development of Business Permit and Franchising System]

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3rd – GENERAL SANTOS [Friendly-Accessible-Simple-Timely (FAST) General Santos City Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS)]

Provinces:

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1st – CEBU [Smart Utilities for Government Business Operations (SUGBO) Program]

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2nd – DAVAO DEL NORTE [DavNor IP Telephony]

Municipalities:

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1st – LOON, BOHOL [Enhanced Loon Business-One-Stop-Shop Initiative 2.0 (ELBI 2.0)]

Best in eGOV Government Inter-Operability (G2G) Award – This category awards the valuable impact of an LGU’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents and to improve its public service delivery.

Cities:

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1st NAGA [Alisto Serbisyo App (ASAP)]

 

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2nd – MUNTINLUPA [Budget Management and Monitoring System (BMMS)]

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3rd – PARAÑAQUE [Enhanced Human Resource Information System]

Provinces:

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1st – BATANGAS [Electronic Real Property Taxation and Assessment System]

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2nd – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Reorganization Information Management System (RIMS)]

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3rd – CEBU [Cebu Provincial Health Office (CPHO) T.E.A.M.S.]

Municipalities:

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1st – BALIWAG, BULACAN [Baliwag Integrated Profiling System (BIPS)]

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2nd – LOON, BOHOL [LGU-Barangay (LB) Connect]

Best in eGOV Data-Driven Governance (D2G) Award – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in recognizing that good governance through ICT goes hand in hand with the fair and responsible processing of data. Effective e-governance provides constituents with convenience and better services through the free flow of information while ensuring at the same time that personal data is protected.

Cities:

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1st – CEBU [GeoHazard Mapping Information System]

 

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2nd – ALAMINOS [Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS) for Gender and Development (GAD) Database]

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3rd – CAUAYAN [Cauayan City Identification System]

Provinces:

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1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Human Resource Information System (HRIS) Version 2]

 

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2nd – LAGUNA [Integrated Hospital Operation Management Information System (iHOMIS)]

Municipalities:

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1st– SAN MATEO, RIZAL 1st – [Geographic Resilience Integrated Development Structure (GRIDS)]

 

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2nd – CAVINTI, LAGUNA [LGU Cavinti GIS-RPTA and GIS-Tax Mapping with Government Agencies, Government Revenue Application Tools System (GReAT)System]

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3rd – MINA, ILOILO [Budget, Accounting, Treasury & Assessment Electronic Comprehensive Income and Expenditures Management System (BATA-e- CIEMS)]

Best in eGOV Digital Finance Empowerment (P2G) Award – This category commends the initiative of an LGU to promote e-commerce or e-payment facilities and systems to ensure effective revenue generation and collection and improving the over-all financial management of the LGU as well as giving convenience to the public.

Cities:

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1st – MAKATI [Computerized Barangay Real Property Tax Payment (RPT)]

Municipalities:

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1st – CAVINTI, LAGUNA [Local Finance System using GReAT System]

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2nd – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Integrated Local Government Unit System]

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3rd – LOON, BOHOL [Enhanced Loon Business-One-Stop-Shop Initiative Pay (ELBI Pay)]

Best in eGOV Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W) Award – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in developing world class systems in using ICT that are at par with international or internationally – recognized standards, thus making the LGU globally competitive, recognized, and virtually accessible and interactive.

Provinces:

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1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Aksyon Gabay Tungo sa Repormasyon – Information

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2nd – [AKLAN oneAklan Want Aklan online platform]

Municipalities:

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1st – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Motorized Tricycle Operators Permit System wih e-Tagging Technology]

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2nd – BALIWAG, BULACAN [Baliwag High FVE Mobile App]

Cities:

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1st – CEBU [Cebu Business Application and OnLine Analytics (CEBALA)]

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2nd – CAUAYAN Cauayan City Connect

 

To know more about the projects or get in touch with the LGU proponents, please email egov@nicp.org.ph.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iligan City to Host Digital Career Expo and Freelancer Fair

iliganThe Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council of Iligan City is set to hold the Iligan leg of the Philippine Freelancers Caravan, Digital Career Expo and Freelancer Fair, on October 25-26, 2018 at the Iligan Medical Center College with the theme, “Up your game”. The two-day interactive event seeks to promote and support the growth of digital careers and online freelancing activities in the city by providing a venue for stakeholders to showcase their companies, exchange ideas, and share best practices. It also aims to provide awareness to the public about the opportunities and trends in digital careers or online freelancing as well as provide an avenue for existing companies in the ICT industry to showcase their services and products.

Industry key players are invited to take part in the City’s first-ever Digital Career Expo and Freelancer Fair. Mr. Jonathan de Luzuriaga, President of the Philippine Software Industry Association, is the keynote speaker. Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Co-Founder and Current Vice President of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, will be presenting the rationale of the Philippine Freelancers Caravan.

The activity also highlights plenary conferences on digital careers, ecosystem, and inspiring stories. Ms. Janette Toral, the e-Commerce Program Head & Lead for the Certified e-Commerce Specialist, e-Commerce Entrepreneur, and e-Commerce Professional, will discuss “Exploring Industry 4.0 Jobs and Discovering New Business Models and Platforms”Ms. Ginger Palma Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops and COO of Taxumo will talk about “Professionalizing and Monetizing Your Freelancer Career”; and Mr. Genesis Reonico, current president of Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines (DCAP) will tackle “Growing the Freelancers Community or Freelancing Success Stories.” National and local industry players will also be joining the panel sessions, including Ms. Yvette Sabellona (Wrupup), Mr. Leif Brian Gomez Margallo (Virtual Workforce Professionals, Taxumo), Ms. Lorna Bondoc (founder of Yoveo Digital), Mr. Daryl Becera  (OrangeHub), Mr. Lincoln Diaz (ICTech Virtual Solutions), Atty. Joerich Cuevas (MinBITS), Ms. Kei San Pablo (Canva), Ms. Pretzel Miso (PYLON), Ms. Jinnah Dorothy Jimenez (ADROIT), and Ms. Stephanie Caragos (Syntactics). Learning Sessions on specialized freelancing skills and niches will also be conducted in the afternoon breakout sessions.

The first-ever Digital Career Expo and Freelancer Fair in Iligan City is co-presented by the Local Government Unit of Iligan City, Philippine ICT Innovation Network, and Iligan Medical Center College. The expo will be participated by 300 delegates from Iligan City and neighboring municipalities.

The Philippine Freelancers Caravan: Digital Careers Expo is an initiative that aims to gather under one venue various companies, organizations, government agencies, professionals and students engaged, involved and interested in digital careers, online jobs or ICT-enabled services. The first run of the caravan includes Iligan and Bacolod. The activity is developed by Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue as President of the Philippine ICT Innovation Network and proponent of SITIO (Social Innovation Thru Impact Outsourcing).


Reprinted from http://www.iligan.gov.ph/iligan-city-host-digital-career-expo-freelancer-fair/

Digital Cities PH Awards Recognize Top eGovernance Projects of LGUs

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In 2012, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the late Jesse Robredo, and the Cyber City Teleservices Philippines Inc. (CCTP) launched in synergy the Awards for Excellence in Governance Through ICT for Local Government Units or the eGov Awards.  The eGov Awards is the first and most prestigious recognition to be given by the ICT sector to LGUs with exemplary performance in empowering its Public Customers and Business.  It is an annual search for best practices in local government units in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.

The first awarding ceremony was held as part of the annual summit of the NICP which is annually presented by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) since its inception in 2008, while still the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT).

The eGov Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service.  By drawing attention to the best practices in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, government units are enabled in their roles as catalyst of change.  It is hoped that with the eGOV awards strategy, the country will see the proliferation of revolutionary ICT initiatives that will support clearer, wider and faster access to information in our local government.

The Digital Cities PH Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service. By drawing attention to the best practices showing outstanding and remarkable innovation in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, and local government units are enabled in their roles as catalysts of change.

The Project aims to:

  1. To highlight and encourage the effective and efficient the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGUs) through the utilization of information and communications technology (ICT)
  2. To share and replicate innovative practices, and commend, collate and document LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s.
  3. To improve the business development, social services and the general ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and/or invest in the growth of the LGU’s.
  4. To promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance responsibility and encourage innovation.

In 2017, during the 9th NICP Summit in Cagayan De Oro, DICT and NICP along with other agencies jointly launched the Digital Cities project – the national flagship project to create smart or digital cities, especially in the areas of economic development, governance, lifestyle, talent development, mobility, and environment. During the 6th eGov Awards ceremony also in 2017, NICP and DICT jointly launched the re-branding of the eGov strategy to Digital Cities Philippines.

On October 12, 2018, 65 projects from 36 local government units were recognized as nominees for six categories. The projects where judged based on the following criteria

Innovative management (25 points) – This criterion demonstrates the degree to which the entry explored, applied and managed the elements and “outside-the-box” strategies that brought about the success of the entry.

Impact (25 points) – The project demonstrates the major results, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service (public, employees, or business).

Relevance (25 points) – The project demonstrates how the entry relates to the overall objectives of the LGU and to the category to which it is nominated.

Replication Potential and Sustainability (25 points) – The project demonstrates the model qualities of the practice with the possibility and applicability of replicating it in other localities. It must demonstrate a level of sustainability or that the LGU can continue the project by addressing major disruptions.

Here are the list of winners:

Best in eGOV Data-Driven Governance (D2G) Award : This category cites the efforts of an LGU in recognizing that good governance through ICT goes hand in hand with the fair and responsible processing of data. Effective e-governance provides constituents with convenience and better services through the free flow of information while ensuring at the same time that personal data is protected.

Cities:

1st CEBU [GeoHazard Mapping Information System]

2nd – ALAMINOS [Barangay Health Worker Information System (BHWIS) for Gender and Development (GAD) Database]

3rd -CAUAYAN [Cauayan City Identification System]

 Provinces:

1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Human Resource Information System (HRIS) Version 2]

2nd – LAGUNA [Integrated Hospital Operation Management Information System (iHOMIS)]

Municipalities:

1st– SAN MATEO, RIZAL 1st – [Geographic Resilience Integrated Development Structure (GRIDS)]

2nd – CAVINTI, LAGUNA [LGU Cavinti GIS-RPTA and GIS-Tax Mapping with Government Agencies, Government Revenue Application Tools System (GReAT)System]

3rd – [MINA, ILOILO Budget, Accounting, Treasury & Assessment Electronic Comprehensive Income and Expenditures Management System (BATA-e- CIEMS)]

Best in eGOV Business Empowerment (G2B) Award : This category awards the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT  solutions and the commitment of its  administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business  opportunities.

Cities:

1st CALAPAN Electronics Business Inspection Monitoring System (E-BIMS) Mobile Application

2nd – ORMOC [In House Development of Business Permit and Franchising System]

3rd – GENERAL SANTOS [Friendly-Accessible-Simple-Timely (FAST) General Santos City Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS)]

Provinces:

1st – CEBU [Smart Utilities for Government Business Operations (SUGBO) Program]

2nd – DAVAO DEL NORTE [DavNor IP Telephony]

Municipalities:

LOON, BOHOL [Enhanced Loon Business-One-Stop-Shop Initiative 2.0 (ELBI 2.0)]

Best in eGOV Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award : This category recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices  using ICT  solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services.

Cities:

1stMARIKINA [Correspondence Session: The Marikina City Model]

2nd – CAGAYAN DE ORO [PWD ID Online Application]

3rd – BAGUIO [Online Public Assistance and Complaint Desk (OPACD)]

Municipalities:

1st – PINAMALAYAN, ORIENTAL MINDORO [Pinamalayan Community eCenter]

2nd – MAUBAN, QUEZON [Mauban eLearningVille]

3rd – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Bayambang Emergency Response System]

Provinces:

1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Public Caravan Information System (PCIS)]

2nd – COMPOSTELA VALLEY [Comval i-Portal]

3rd – ILOILO [Iloilo Province-Wide Eelectronic Assessment and Collection System (eAssyscols)]

Best in eGOV Government Inter-Operability (G2G) Award : This category awards the valuable impact of an LGU’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents and to improve its public service delivery.

Cities:

1st NAGA [Alisto Serbisyo App (ASAP)]

2nd – MUNTINLUPA [Budget Management and Monitoring System (BMMS)]

3rd – PARAÑAQUE [Enhanced Human Resource Information System]

Provinces:

1st – BATANGAS [Electronic Real Property Taxation and Assessment System]

2nd – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Reorganization Information Management System (RIMS)]

3rd – CEBU [Cebu Provincial Health Office (CPHO) T.E.A.M.S.]

Municipalities:

1st – BALIWAG, BULACAN [Baliwag Integrated Profiling System (BIPS)]

2nd – LOON, BOHOL [LGU-Barangay (LB) Connect]

Best in eGOV Digital Finance Empowerment (P2G) Award : This category commends the initiative of an LGU to promote e-commerce or e-payment facilities and systems to ensure effective revenue generation and collection and improving the over-all financial management of the LGU as well as giving convenience to the public.

Cities:

1st – MAKATI [Computerized Barangay Real Property Tax Payment (RPT)]

Municipalities:

1st – CAVINTI, LAGUNA [Local Finance System using GReAT System]

2nd – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Integrated Local Government Unit System]

3rd – LOON, BOHOL [Enhanced Loon Business-One-Stop-Shop Initiative Pay (ELBI Pay)]

Best in eGOV Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W) : This category cites the efforts of an LGU in developing world class systems in using ICT that are at par with international or internationally – recognized standards, thus making the LGU globally competitive, recognized, and virtually accessible and interactive.

Cities:

1st – CEBU [Cebu Business 1st Application and OnLine Analytics (CEBALA)]

2nd  – CAUAYAN [Cauayan City Connect]

Municipalities:

1st – BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN [Motorized Tricycle Operators Permit System with e-Tagging Technology]

2nd – BALIWAG, BULACAN [Baliwag High FVE Mobile App]

Provinces:

1st – DAVAO DEL NORTE [Aksyon Gabay Tungo sa Repormasyon – Information Management System (AGR-IMS)]

2nd – AKLAN [oneAklan Want Aklan online platform]

Up 8 Notches in Tholons: Bacolod Doubles Score in Digital And Innovation

I and the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) and all our partners welcome with pride and gratefulness the improvement of Bacolod City’s ranking in the 2018 Tholons Services Globalization Index (TSGI) from 97 to 89. The full report is in this link http://www.tholons.com/digital-innovation/

tholons2It is so inspiring to see the fruits of our strong government-academe and industry collaboration, our constant engagement with schools and talent development stakeholders, our grit and determination to continuously challenge and redesign our own strategies to adapt to the requirements of global digital services. This feat is also because of the support of the community and key public and private organizations and institutions especially to our our growing startup and digital workers community.

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It is a big feat for a mid-size city like Bacolod to be among the six cities of the Philippines named under the Top 100 Super Cities in this year’s Tholons report.

Last year, out of nine cities already in the list for 2016, Bacolod barely survived as it dropped from 85 to 97 because of a new criteria – digital and innovation. Last year, we measured low for Digital Innovation just enough to be still in the top 100 at 97. But this year, we measured more than double in this criteria, and add to that, its weight increased from 20 to 25 percent.

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I am so proud of the efforts of all members of BNEFIT, our official ICT council recognized by DICT and NICP since 2008. It is our 10th year this year and we are truly grateful to our public and private sector partners – the city and provincial governments, the schools and companies and most especially our tech-startup communities. This year we have pioneered several activities including for a and workshops on disruptive technologies like blockchain, AI, IOT, cybersecurity, game development, design thinking and many more.

We are likewise happy to see the Philippines regain its second spot in the Top 50 Digital Nations, and all other cities, namely Manila Cebu, Davao, and Santa Rosa move up with Iloilo re-entering the list.

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Here is Bacolod’s history under Tholons International:

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The Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) is working to adopt the suggestions of Tholons Interna

As of December 31, 2017, we have identified 28 IT-BPM and IT-enabled companies in Bacolod engaged in outsourcing to foreign markets. In total, these companies generate approximately 30,000 FTEs/direct jobs and 90,000 indirect jobs for Bacolod and Negros Occidental. These data allowed for 10 % additional FTEs for companies not in our radar.

85% of the FTEs/Companies are engaged in IT-BPM/BPO/Voice/Contact Center Services, 9% are ESL Companies, center-based freelance work, voice and data entry and 6% IT-KPO/Healthcare Information Management (HIM)/Creative (Animation, Game Development and Visual Graphics) Software Development (SaaS/HR)

Based on PEZA formula and an estimated total of 25,750 FTEs in the IT-BPM Space – total investments in Bacolod and Negros Occidental of these companies reach 65 Million USD or 3.25B Php.

For Non-IT-BPM, average requirement of PEZA is an investment of 1 Million PHP for equipment. Matched with capitalization and other expenses at an average of 2 Million PHP – our multiplier for around 15 companies – the total investment for Non-Voice is 45 Million PHP (3 Million PHP x 15)

At a very conservative estimate of 10,000 PHP (low) per FTE/month – the total salary of 300 Million PHP a month or 3.6 Billion PHP annually.

Bacolod and Negros Occidental currently has 30 accredited IT zones under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) of which 16 already have presidential proclamations.

Bacolod City is one of the centers for excellence in IT-BPM since 2013. We are the fourth to be cited as COE after Manila, Cebu and Clark. In 2016, Davao and Iloilo were also named as COE. Currently we are No. 97 Super City in the Top 100 Super Cities of Tholons International. Bacolod and BNEFIT have been awarded during the FLARE Awards of the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) last 2016 as Beacon for all cities in the IT-BPM sector.

We are doing our best at BNEFIT to find ways to adopt the suggestions to Tholons. During the Digital Transformation Summit in Cebu this year, Tholons shared several suggestions for Cebu (and for other cities as well). Here are some of the slides shared to delegates through the event site:

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Slide2Slide4Let’s continue our hard work as we move towards 60,000 FTEs in 2022.

What is Tholons International?

TGSI is the leading touchstone to benchmark the accelerated digital transformation of industries and services globally, which evaluates, ranks and provides location strategies to multinational corporations, countries, governments, multi-lateral agencies, analysts and investors.

The biggest weight, which is twenty-five percent, in the index goes to digital innovation, which is now a critical element in disrupting and transforming industries globally. Technology, business process management companies and multinational corporations are all aligning with the stark reality of digital innovation and transformation.

Tholons International location assessment methodology integrates both primary and secondary research. Tholons utilizes surveys and interviews with service providers and buyers through its extensive network of industry stakeholders including buyers and suppliers of services, governments, trade bodies and associations to collect and validate data and analysis. They also make use of secondary research methodologies to gather volumes of historical data and various statistics and economic related data from governments, global institutions and agencies, and monetary bodies.

 Tholons employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis in developing the weighted rankings, making their proprietary ranking framework continuously evolve to align with most of the current market realities and demand.

In 2017, TSGI’s ranking was published with traditional factors such as Talent, Skill and Quality, Business Catalyst, Cost, Infrastructure Risk and Quality of Life, having 80% weightage, with 20% weightage for digital transformation. The TSGI’s 2018 ranking puts traditional with 75% weightage and digital with 25% weightage.

 Tholons consider Digital and Innovation as the lifeline of today’s businesses. Businesses must embrace digital technologies and platforms like social media, mobile technology, cognitive computing, cloud and artificial intelligence to cater to the changing demands.

The parameters for Digital and Innovation are open innovation ecosystem, number of startups, startup diversity and maturity, innovative policies and incentives, unicorns, cyber security, global digital competitiveness, digital literacy rate i.e. the number of people using internet, digital evolution, digital talent and high-tech patent grants, business agility, usage of RPA/AI/cloud, investors and ease of doing business.

Samar Starts A Spark in the ICT Industry

img_2057.jpgThe Provincial Government of Samar, through the Project Monitoring Office and the Provincial Investment and Trade Promotions Office hosted a Capability Development Workshop for the newly-created Spark Samar Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council last September 3, 2018 in Catbalogan City.

This project was initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in preparation for the implementation of the Rural Impact Sourcing and other ICT programs in the Province of Samar.

This activity aims to bring together and capacitate the province’s key ICT industry players in order to push achieve the government’s goal of making Samar the next ICT hub in the country. The body is composed of representatives from the national and local government, academe and business sector.

img_2062.jpgDr. Mario Quijano, Provincial Administrator of Samar, addressing the workshop attendees, emphasized the goal of the province to embrace ICT as a tool to promote economic development, and generate jobs and investments for Samar. With the available talent supply of Samar, and the cooperation of all stakeholders, bolstered by the support of the provincial government, Quijano hopes to see the council help generate jobs within the province.

img_2044.jpgICT countryside advocate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, co-founder, past president and current vice president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) served as main resource speaker and facilitator.

Batapa-Sigue highlighted the need for unity to create a digital Philippine countryside powered by Filipino talent with Future of Work skills to push the Philippines among the world’s most future-ready nations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Officers and members of the ICT council include the provincial governor and vice governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Infrastructure and Investment, provincial Sangguniang  Kabataan (SK) Federation President, provincial department heads, representatives from DICT, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), state universities and private colleges, Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, telecommunication companies, electric cooperatives in the area, law enforcement agencies, private sector business and local government units within the province.

Spark Samar started in 2015 as a tourism branding for the province but recently the desire to for innovation and job generation inspired the local stakeholders to bring the branding to the next level.

img_2045Batapa-Sigue stressed on the anchor initiative of NICP, now recognized nationally, the creation of ICT councils, an 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 aim is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.

NICP was founded in 2008 to serve as a convergence of ICT councils all over the Philippines, representing the stakeholders in their respective geographical locations such as regions, provinces, cities and municipalities.

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With DICT Team led by Nikko Visperas and Provincial Administrator Mario Quijano

 

 

 

NICP: Leading Philippine ICT Councils as Engines for Digital Inclusion

The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), a non-stock, non-profit organization, which was founded in 2008, serves as a convergence of information and communications technology (ICT) councils all over the Philippines, representing the stakeholders in their respective geographical locations such as regions, provinces, cities and municipalities.

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Official NICP Logo

The idea started in 2007, when several ICT councils representing key cities in the country gathered in Cebu and sat with the Commission on ICT (CICT) to discuss how to grow ICT industry in the countryside.

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In 2008, at the initiation of the ten ICT councils, the first National ICT Summit was held in Iligan City and hosted by the Iligan ICT Council led by Dr. Emmanuel Lagare.

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During the Iligan Summit, a meeting was held among the ICT champions, which resulted to the creation of NICP. Then named as National ICT Conference of the Philippines.

NICP 2008 Manifesto

Eventually in 2010, NICP was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2010 as the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP). Its Vision, Mission and Strategic Thrusts carried year after year as the organization grows.

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In 2009, the second summit was held in Clark, Pampanga with NICP’s first president =, Dr. George Sorio in the helm.

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NICP Summit in Clark

In 2010, the summit was hosted by the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) in Bacolod City.

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NICP Summit in Bacolod

In 2011, the summit was hosted by General Santos City and in 2012 by Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

nicp-officers-2013-1.jpg2013 was supposedly Visayas’ turn but there was no summit in 2013 due to Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol Earthquake. In 2014, the summit was hosted by Davao City and in 2015 by Legazpi City.

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NICP Summit in Legazpi City

In 2017, the summit was hosted by Leyte Province and Tacloban City and in 2017 by Cagayan de Oro City.

Today, NICP champions the vision of creating jobs especially in the countryside through its member ICT councils.

In 2013, the Philippine Smarter Countryside campaign was launched. Along with a map showing the different ICT Councils in the Philippines.

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The brand of NICP which is now recognized in various forums is the encouragement and creation of ICT councils, an 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 idea is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments.

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The ICT council model is now recognized by the Philippine IT BPM Roadmap 2022 which makes mention of the role of the councils especially in achieving inclusive growth, one of the high impact programs (HIP) for 2022. The ICT model has been presented in the United States of America, Bangladesh, Japan, India and Guatemala as a best practice.

 

 

Various activities are held by NICP to enhance the capabilities of ICT Councils in fulfilling their mission. Today, in partnership with various agencies such as the DICT, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and private companies, NICP delivers various programs to address the needs and requirements of the ICT councils.

Through the years, NICP’s mission has also evolved in several directions to complement this vision. The six major thrusts for NICP continue to address the challenges of time.

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NICP Strategic Thrusts

NICP has been one of the strongest advocates that raised public awareness for various ICT policies including the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). NICP efforts stemmed from our sincere belief that ICT will be a vehicle for ensuring that the countryside is not neglected especially in the aspect of leveraging ICT to create jobs, generate investments and drive innovation all over the country and not just in Metro Manila. The thrusts of NICP are effectively carried out through its flagship projects.

In 2012, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the late Jesse Robredo, and the Cyber City Teleservices Philippines Inc. (CCTP) launched in synergy the Awards for Excellence in Governance Through ICT for Local Government Units or the eGov Awards.  The eGov Awards is the first and most prestigious recognition to be given by the ICT sector to LGUs with exemplary performance in empowering its Public Customers and Business.  It is an annual search for best practices in local government units in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.

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Signing of eGOV MOA with DILG

The first awarding ceremony was held as part of the annual summit of the NICP which is annually presented by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) since its inception in 2008, while still the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT).

The eGov Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service.  By drawing attention to the best practices in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, government units are enabled in their roles as catalyst of change.  It is hoped that with the eGOV awards strategy, the country will see the proliferation of revolutionary ICT initiatives that will support clearer, wider and faster access to information in our local government.

The Project aims to:

To highlight and encourage the effective and efficient the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGUs) through the utilization of information and communications technology (ICT)

To share and replicate innovative practices, and commend, collate and document LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s.

To improve the business development, social services and the general ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and/or invest in the growth of the LGU’s.

To promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance responsibility and encourage innovation.

It started with two categories in 2012, namely:

The Best in eGOV Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award – This category recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices  using ICT  solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services.

The Best in eGOV Business Empowerment (G2B) Award – This category awards the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT  solutions and the commitment of its  administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business  opportunities.

Eventually in 2017, the categories were expanded to five, with additional three categories, as follows:

The Best in eGOV Government Inter-Operability (G2G) Award – This category awards the valuable impact of an LGU’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents and to improve its public service delivery.

The Best in eGOV Digital Finance (G2P) Award – This category commends the initiative of an LGU to promote e-commerce or e-payment facilities and systems to ensure effective revenue generation and collection and improving the over-all financial management of the LGU as well as giving convenience to the public.

The Best in eGOV  Data-Driven Governance Award (D2G) Award – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in recognizing that good governance through ICT goes hand in hand with the fair and responsible processing of data. Effective e-governance provides constituents with convenience and better services through the free flow of information while ensuring at the same time that personal data is protected.

In 2017, during the 9th NICP Summit in Cagayan De Oro, DICT and NICP along with other agencies jointly launched the Digital Cities project – the national flagship project to create smart or digital cities, especially in the areas of economic development, governance, lifestyle, talent development, mobility, and environment. During the 6th eGov Awards ceremony also in 2017, NICP and DICT jointly launched the re-branding of the eGov strategy to Digital Cities Philippines.

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Launching of Digital Cities PH – eGOV Partnerships between NICP, DICT, and DILG in CDO

The Digital Cities PH Awards share the vision of establishing indices for local government units across the country in harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service. By drawing attention to the best practices showing outstanding and remarkable innovation in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, and local government units are enabled in their roles as catalysts of change. For 2018, a sixth category was added.

The Best in eGOV Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W) – This category cites the efforts of an LGU in developing world class systems in using ICT that are at par with international or internationally – recognized standards, thus making the LGU globally competitive, recognized, and virtually accessible and interactive.

The criteria for judging includes:

Innovative management (25 points) – This criterion demonstrates the degree to which the entry explored, applied and managed the elements and “outside-the-box” strategies that brought about the success of the entry.

Impact (25 points) – The project demonstrates the major results, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service (public, employees, or business).

Relevance (25 points) – The project demonstrates how the entry relates to the overall objectives of the LGU and to the category to which it is nominated.

Replication Potential and Sustainability (25 points) – The project demonstrates the model qualities of the practice with the possibility and applicability of replicating it in other localities. It must demonstrate a level of sustainability or that the LGU can continue the project by addressing major disruptions.

The winning LGU’s will be asked to share their stories of best practices to other LGU’s and for their stories and pictures to be published in the various publication. These LGU’s may also be requested by NICP to speak in national and regional summits.

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eGOV Awards during the NICP Summit in Davao

NICP today helps different LGUs create their own ICT councils anchored on the principles that government is a catalyst of all stakeholders and must initiate and encourage all key sectors to set and join in pursuing a direction, that the private sector must actively support the government by providing resources to improve the business ecosystem, provide the real estate and telecommunications infrastructure, that the academe must continuously link with the industry to ensure relevant education, and that all three sectors must work together to pursue competitiveness and readiness in ICT using the multi-stakeholder approach.

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Today, NICP serves as the recognized advocate for countrywide ICT industry development. It is known as the champion for countryside digital development and a staunch advocate for developing a smarter countryside.

To learn more about the programs of NICP, please visit www.nicp.org.ph

Bacolod, Negros Occidental Target 10,000 O&O jobs by 2010  

 

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BNEFIT Organizational Workshop on November 6-7, 2007

(Note: This was the Press Release issued to local media on November 18, 2007. Bacolod ended the year 2010 with 11,000 ICT-enabled jobs)

About a hundred stakeholders coming from the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, government, academe, business, real estate and the media committed to generate at least 10,000 offshore and outsourcing (O & O) jobs and the same number of qualified professionals in Bacolod and Negros Occidental by 2010 during the ICT conference held in the city last week.

The total industry revenue reached US$3.3 with a total of 234,000 total direct workforce for the Philippines as of end of 2006. The operations of major locators in Bacolod generated about 4,000 call center jobs, Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, main convenor said.

Aside from delegates from schools and the private sector in Bacolod, also represented were the cities of Silay, San Carlos, Bago, and Sipalay and the municipalities of Moises Padilla and Pulupandan, real estate groups, as well as schools such as Bago City College, Kabankalan Catholic College, Silay Insitute, and Binalbagan Catholic College, Batapa-Sigue said.

The Commission of Information and Communications Technology (CICT) with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is gearing up to capture ten percent of the world’s outsourcing market equivalent to $13 billion revenues and one million employment by 2010 through public-private sector initiatives, CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim told the delegates last Thursday.

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CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim briefing stakeholders in Bacolod

Ibrahim challenged Bacolod and Negros Occidental to enhance talent development, expand the geographical spread of the country’s outsourcing capabilities and further improve the business environment for investors. As a first step, CICT calls on the stakeholders to jointly answer the metrics for the Philippine Roadmap 2010, a comprehensive study of the Philippine outsourcing industry which details the aspirations of the Philippine BPO industry and the initiatives needed in order to achieve these goals.

All the ICT delegates agreed to for Bacolod-Negros Occidental Foundation for ICT (BNEFIT) in order to sustain the gains of the ICT sector, increase to 20 percent or more the hiring rate and expand the ICT activities from call centers to software development, medical and legal transcription, IT engineering and other ICT strains.

The Philippines was awarded as 2007 Most Preferred Country Location for Outsourcing by the National Outsourcing Association of UK last October, as it clinches the spot of having the third largest market share with $3.3B total revenue for 2006 or 1.4 percent of the market, and already second to India in the call center industry.

Blockchain to Boost Bacolod’s BPO Services

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Industry practitioners sees blockchain as a new technology that will enhance Bacolod City’s current lead as as a center for excellence in information technology and business process management amidst the threats of new disruptive technologies.

Randy Knutson, head of DynaQuest Technology Services, a Manila-based firm says “blockchain technology will help the Philippine BPO industry migrate to next digital wave and create new jobs and preserve existing jobs that will be replaced by artificial intelligence-based call centers, making the Philippines one of the leaders in Blockchain Technology and Bacolod a destination location in that future.”

On Thursday, May 24, 2018 blockchain industry practitioners and local stakeholders in Bacolod will converge for an intensive whole-day workshop about block chain technology, dubbed as Bacolod Blockchain Initiative at the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College – Talisay Campus.

The Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), organized the project with the support of Ethereum World, an incubator based in Singapore, DynaQuest Technology Services, a Manila-based firm and HYBrain Development Corporation, a Bacolod-based software development firm).

BNEFIT president John Dave Dueňas, also the founder of HYBrain said Ethereum World have invested in the best technology to provide executive services catered to all entities to help all visionaries expand their business ideas and discuss with our team of top developers and advisors.

The main aim of the initiative is to introduce blockchain technology which has been in mainstream media because of the popularity of one of its application known as “cryptocurrency” but Dueňas says, blockchain is more than cryptocurrency, it is a technology which introduces a new wave of “internet”, secured sharing of data and effective integration of data amongst processes which is now being referred to as the software development technology of the future.

Only a few countries like United States of America and the United Arab Emirates have actually included blockchain technology in their academic curricula, so when Ethereum World, a blockchain integrator company based in Singapore showed interest of introducing the technology in Bacolod, BNEFIT has to grab this opportunity in order to open the doors in the province and the city to explore the possibility of being the first location in the Philippines which has academic institutions incorporate blockchain in their elective courses, he added.

The workshop will be facilitated by Knutson together with Daniel Adams, the chief executive officer of Ethereum World, and Chris Thompson, Business Development Director also of Ethereum.

BNEFIT Executive Director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said this project is a big boost to the iTEACH program of BNEFIT which is composed of a series of industry-led digital workshops for the academe. We only have a few more years, before new technologies create major disruptions to the workplace and Bacolod needs to constantly step up not only to maintain its lead among BPO locations in the Philippines but to take advantage of the millions of new digital jobs available around the world, Sigue added.

Bacolod Aims To Be GameDev Hub

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Information and communications technology (ICT) stakeholders in Bacolod aims to position the city as a hub for the game development industry in the Philippines.

In 2013, the Bacolod – Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT) officially launched the advocacy to step up in three areas, namely healthcare information management (HIM), software development and creative processes, specifically in animation and game development.

In 2016, BNEFIT supported the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP), the Department of Information and Communications Technology and GDAP partners in Negros Island in the conduct of the 1st Negros Island Game Festival.

From then, a series of initiatives undertaken by BNEFIT or other groups separately has spawned in support of the Bacolod’s potential as a game development hub.

At present, as startup company, Adage Studio Design and Games Enterprise (Adage), Inc. registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Holysoft Studios registered with the SEC and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) are taking the lead for BNEFIT’s programs in the creative industry.

The presence of creative startups like SWAPRose, Aardvark, and Simplex GameLabs and 2D and 3D Animation schools like the Negros Occidental IT and Language Center (NOLITC) and NXT Academy are a big plus to the growing support of national government agencies. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Export Management Bureau has regularly invited game development studios in Bacolod for international exposures while the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has provided equipment to creative startups through BNEFIT.

In the formal education side, Bacolod has several K to 12 senior high schools offering specialized tracts related to the creative industry. One is the Romanito Maravilla National High School, a public school in the city which offers its senior and junior high school students illustration and animation.

In June of this year, La Consolacion College – Bacolod will start to offer Bachelor of Science in Entertainment and Multimedia Computing with Major in Game Development and University of St. La Salle – Bacolod will offer Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with Specialization in Game Development.

The over-all goal of BNEFIT is to create 60,000 ICT-enabled jobs in 2022 and around a thousand of it from the creative sector, especially, game development.

BNEFIT Executive Director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the strategy is to enhance the artistic abilities of students especially with use of digital equipment and platforms, as well as their coding skills since game development require both art and software development skills, BNEFIT Executive Director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said.

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