Ford Ranger: A mobility partner for work, play and everything in between

Driving a Ford Ranger Wildtrak for an trip to the Jewel City of Sugarlandia – Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.

They say a long drive, good music and good company when combined is a great therapy for a tired soul. Our family took a Ford Ranger Wildtrak for spin this week in Sipalay City, second southernmost town in Negros Occidental and about 178 kilometers from Bacolod City as part of the Ford Media Drive 2020.

Dubbed as the Jewel of the Sugarlandia, Sipalay boasts of its beautiful sunset, clean shorelines and pristine waters. The city is home to beautiful beaches, resorts, bays, diving spots, caves, bays, fishing villages, and vegetable farms. One will be amazed at just how many adventures you can experience in a small city like Sipalay. The experience was made complete with a very smooth drive of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

One of the hottest global trends in the auto industry is the growing popularity of pickup trucks as lifestyle vehicles. In the U.S., several pickups are now the top-selling vehicles in the country’s luxury market.

Once the tool of choice for people whose business required heavy towing, payload and off-roading, pickup trucks like the Ford Ranger have evolved into modern lifestyle vehicles that offer the same comfort and technologies as cars, but with the versatility and toughness to function as a workhorse, business partner, family vehicle, and anything in-between. Work or play, the modern pickup truck is the ultimate expression of independence and local enterprise.

Ford Philippines launched the new model of the Ford Ranger in 2018 equipped with enhanced power, performance, and smart and safe features. In the same year, Ford also launched the first-ever Ranger Raptor, combining Ford Performance DNA with the Ranger’s renowned ‘Built Ford Tough’ character and capability to set a new benchmark in high-speed, off-road pickup capability.

Ford Ranger: Tough and Smart

The new Ranger offers a choice of three diesel powertrains to deliver greater versatility and meet consumer demands for a wider variety of requirements. These include the new generation 2.0L Bi-Turbo and 2.0L Turbo engines, and the Ranger’s proven 2.2L TDCi engine.

The new Ranger also boasts of advanced smart and safe features such as the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) feature which helps mitigate risks by detecting pedestrians and vehicles, alerting drivers with an audible and visual warning. The new Ranger is also equipped with Active Park Assist (APA) which helps the driver find parallel parking spaces and steers itself to a parking spot. All the driver needs to do is control the throttle and brake.

Also available on the new Ranger is the Adaptive Cruise Control feature, which senses traffic and adjusts speed automatically. Meanwhile, the Lane Departure Warning feature vibrates the steering wheel if the driver unintentionally moves out of his/her lane at certain speed.

Loading is easier than ever on the Ranger XLT and Wildtrak variants with the introduction of Tailgate Lift Assist. With a new internal mechanism, the Ranger’s tailgate is now lighter to lift, with a 70 percent reduction in initial force required to raise it for closing.

The Wildtrak variants also offer the Smart Keyless Entry and push-button start, as well as up to six airbags ensuring maximum convenience and safety. The new Ranger also offers the SYNC3 feature compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing drivers to make calls, select music, and use apps with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Ford Ranger Raptor: Power and Performance

The Ranger Raptor is equipped with a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers a maximum of 213PS of power and 500Nm of torque. The Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission has been created with high-strength steel, aluminum alloys and composites to optimize durability and weight.

The Ranger Raptor features distinctive design cues inside and out that are functionally driven.

At the front, a stunning new grille takes styling cues from the F-150 Raptor with the iconic block

FORD lettering proudly positioned within the grille design.

Inside, the Ranger Raptor offers a tailored Ford Performance DNA interior design with a high level of craftsmanship, harmonious colors and durable materials suitable for both off-road driving and everyday use. The seats are specially designed for off-road high-speed performance support.

The Ranger Raptor’s chassis frame is a new unique frame that is specifically designed for the vehicle to travel at high speeds off road. The Ranger Raptor’s Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers are exclusively manufactured by FOX, designed to provide higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable better off-road capabilities.

The Ranger Raptor’s Terrain Management System (TMS) includes the Baja mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally, and enables ultra-responsive, high-speed off-road performance. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back to allow spirited off-road driving without intervention from the vehicle’s on-board systems.

Ranger Raptor comes with a host of advanced Driver Assist Technologies (DATs) such as SYNC 3, a fully integrated, voice activation system that lets the driver use their favorite devices while their hands stay on the wheel and eyes on the road. Ford’s comprehensive Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system also helps in difficult cornering and braking situations.

New enhancements to the Ranger lineup

Earlier this year, Ford Philippines introduced a series of enhancements and upgrades to its entire Ranger lineup. Ranger XLS variants now come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability. A new Ranger XLS Sport 4×2 A/T variant is added to the Ranger XLS products available to customers. Ranger XLT variants also come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability.

Meanwhile, Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 variants now have a new wheel design and LED headlamps. The Wildtrak 4×4 also has a new wheel design, LED headlamps, camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection and high-mount USB feature to support various dashcam models. On the other hand, the Ranger Raptor now comes with a camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, high-mount USB, and LED headlamps.

Boosting pickup portfolio with FX4 and FX4 4×4

Ford also expanded its pickup truck portfolio in January this year with the addition of the Ranger FX4, and in September, the FX4 4×4 variant. Instantly recognizable is the Ranger FX4’s eye-catching design that distinguishes itself across the entire Ranger lineup. Unique 18-inch black alloy wheels, new mesh grille, extended steel sports bar, and ebony black accents on side mirror caps, door handles, front and rear bumpers and fender features give the Ranger FX4 a distinctive look and style.

On the inside, the Ranger FX4 retains its refined look with FX4-embossed leather seats, FX4-branded floor mats, and sporty dark environment highlighted by race red stitching accents on the soft top instrument panel, center console, gear shifter, and door trims.

Great deals for the Ford Ranger during Truck Month

Ford Philippines is extending its widely-anticipated Truck Month until the end of November, with cash discounts available to more Ford Ranger models.

New Truck Month deals available this month include a PHP90,000 cash discount for the Ranger 2.0L Bi-Turbo Wildtrak 4×4 AT as well as for the Ranger 2.2L XLT 4×2 AT and a PHP65,000 cash discount for the Ranger 2.2L XLT 4×2 MT.

The Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×2 MT is still available this month with a PHP90,000 cash discount while the Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×2 AT still comes with a cash discount of PHP70,000.

On the other hand, the Ranger 2.2L XLS 4×2 MT is still available with a cash discount of PHP89,000, effectively bringing its starting retail price to only PHP943,000. Customers can also avail of a financing offer of PHP88,000 all-in low downpayment.

Meanwhile, customers who are looking to purchase the Ranger Raptor are still entitled to the Ranger Raptor Premium Care Package inclusive of a free 5-Year Scheduled Service Plan, 5-Year Warranty (from 3 years), and 5-Year Roadside Assistance. The worry-free ownership package is valued at PHP100,000.

The Ford Ranger is available in Ford Negros located at Talisay City, Negros Occidental with telephone number (034) 441 0865. For more details about the Ford Ranger, visit Ford Negros or

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 188,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

Filipino startup recognized in addressing SDG’s using space tech

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino startup is recognized globally in developing a dengue hotspot prediction system using satellite and climate data in the 2020 Group on Earth Observations Sustainable Development Goals (GEO SDG) Awards for the Sectoral category, For-Profit. The GEO SDG Awards recognize the productivity, ingenuity, proficiency, novelty, and exemplary communications of results and experiences in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development.

CirroLytix Research Services was formed to create social impact through big data. Through the application of machine learning, data engineering, remote sensing, and social listening, the Philippines-based data analytics firm hopes to help governments, researchers, non-government organizations (NGO), and social enterprises achieve positive change.

The Advanced Early Dengue Prediction and Exploration Service (Project AEDES) is one of the CirroLytix’s flagship projects developed during the 2019 National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) International Space Apps Challenge. It combines digital, climate, and remote sensing to nowcast dengue trends and detect mosquito habitats to help pre-empt cases of dengue. Project AEDES process leverages normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), Fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR), and normalized difference water index (NDWI) readings from Landsat and Sentinel-2 to estimate still water areas on the ground, which is correlated with dengue case counts from national health centers.

The Advanced Early Dengue Prediction and Exploration Service (Project AEDES) combines digital, climate, and remote sensing to nowcast dengue trends and detect mosquito habitats to help pre-empt cases of dengue

Dominic Vincent “Doc” Ligot, co-founder and chief technology officer of CirroLytix, describes Project AEDES as an “early detection of panics from online searches, anticipating case counts from environment readings, but most importantly pinpointing hotspots from mosquito habitat detection.”

The Pinoy-made dengue mapper tool won the annual international hackathon of NASA globally in the best use of data, the solution that best makes space data accessible, or leverages it to a unique application. Aside from winning last year, CirroLytix also developed an integrated public policy information portal measuring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic using Earth observation, in-country economic and human mobility data, and global infection case counts, thus winning again in the Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge for the same category in the best use of data. Named G.I.D.E.O.N. (Global Impact Detection from Emitted Light, Onset of COVID-19, and Nitrogen Dioxide), this dashboard for policy makers and economic planners shows the impact of COVID-19 on various countries and effects on the economy and environment.

With these achievements, Cirrolytix is recognized in their remarkable efforts to utilize Earth observation data to predict dengue fever cases in the Philippines in order to improve public health.

“I am glad that the GEO SDG Awards Panel has selected CirroLytix for an award, recognizing the importance of this work in developing an EO-integrated dengue case predictor mapping system,” according to Dr. Argyro Kavvada, lead for Sustainable Development Goals of the Earth Science Division, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and executive secretary of the international Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG).

“These awards really could stand as an inspiration to all of us about what can be done, and what needs to be done to ensure that Earth-observations contribute to make our world a better, and more sustainable place,” said Lawrence Friedl director of the Applied Sciences Program of the Earth Science Division, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and co-chair of EO4SDG.

2020 GEO SDG Awardees together with Dominic Vincent “Doc” Ligot, co-founder and chief technology officer of CirroLytix

The Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Dr. Rafaelita “Fita” M. Aldaba heartfeltly congratulates CirroLytix. “It’s indeed a blessing amid this pandemic and economic crisis that we are currently faced with,” she said.

The award-winning startup continues to update the AEDES framework to include socio-economic risk mapping to turn it into a health and environmental policy tool. Aside from dengue, the company also supports COVID-19 modeling and response initiatives with the public health sector. CirroLytix’s current involvements include public health, human rights, fighting disinformation, education and food security.

The Space Apps lead organizer in the Philippines Michael Lance M. Domagas appeals support for these Filipino winners. “How many times should these Filipino innovators and achievers need to win before being recognized and appreciated by our own country? To be recognized by not just one, but five space agencies is something has not yet been achieved by Filipinos, how much more of a multitude of countries and nations supporting the sustainable development goals of the United Nations?” He added that “The dengue epidemic and the COVID-19 is a real threat to the Philippine society right now, endangering health, well-being, livelihood, and most especially businesses and the national economy. If we could only learn how to give value to science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM), the possibilities are endless. Our Filipino winners of Space Apps and GEO SDG Awards have taught us on how these space technologies greatly help in addressing epidemics and economic impact of COVID-19, its time to give them recognition and respect because they are Filipinos like us.” Winners shall be invited to visit NASA once travel is deemed safe, but unfortunately, travel, meals and incidental expenses, and accommodation expenses are not provided.

On the other hand, Cirrolytix encourages the use of data in addressing social problems and issues surrounding the Bangsamoro region. Together with the Asia Foundation and Data Ethics PH, the online Bangsamoro Data Challenge invites ages 15 years old and above to develop data-driven solutions in helping the region. Deadline for registration is on Saturday 11:59pm, November 21, 2020 at

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 participating organizations that envisions a future where decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations.

About 2020 GEO SDG Awards
The 2020 Group on Earth Observations Sustainable Development Goals (GEO SDG) awards program, in its second year, is led by the international Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG) initiative and recognizes excellence in sustainable development practices, analysis and reporting through the use of Earth observations. The awards honour productivity, ingenuity, proficiency, novelty, and exemplary communications of results and experiences in the use of Earth observations for the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Group on Earth Observations
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 participating organizations that envisions a future where decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations.

About Space Apps
Now in its 9th year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon for coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and others around the world, where teams engage with NASA’s free and open data to address real-world problems on Earth and in space. Space Apps 2019 included over 29,000 participants in 71 countries. In May 2020, the virtual-only Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge concluded with over 15,000 participants from 150 countries. Space Apps is a NASA-led initiative organized in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, Mindgrub, SecondMuse, and the NASA Open Innovation Applied Sciences Program.

About CirroLytix
CirroLytix Research Services is a social impact data analytics company. Their mission is to help governments, non-profits, researchers, international and local organizations succeed at addressing collective social problems around the world by harnessing the full power of their data. The ultimate contribution to society is in enabling social impact professionals and entities make positive data-driven change on the lives they seek to uplift.

Related Links:

Above material is a Press Release issued by Michael Lance M. Domagas (Lead organizer, NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge Manila, Philippines). For more details, email

108 LGU Systems Vie for Digital Governance Awards 2020

There are 108 local government-led programs vying for this year’s Digital Governance Awards 2020 this November. I congratulate the current officers of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for striving to carry on with this merit system which is now in its 9th year.

In 2012, as president of the NICP, I led exploratory talks with then Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the DILG on how we can help ensure that local government units across the country leverage on the benefits of using information and communications technologies (ICT) for good governance. I remember we brainstormed casually inside a hotel room with other NICP officers while attending an ICT conference. Our choice was between two approaches – carrot or stick. USEC Austere, also an Ilonggo, believed along with then DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo would that the “carrot” approach would be more effective since NICP is a private organization. We believed that customers or clients of government, which are primarily its citizens should be the one gauging their respective performance and level of innovation. Hence, the Excellence in ICT for Good Governance or eGOV Awards was born that year.

Since 2012 up to the present, the call for excellence in governance using digital pltaforms and solutions continues. In 2017, the DICT took the cudgel of nurturing the merit system and everyone agree to rebrand it to Digital Cities Awards and eventually last year to the Digital Governance Awards (DGA). eGOV and now DGA is an annual search for best practices in local government units in utilizing ICT to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.

The DGA shares 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 and government units are enabled in their roles as catalyst of change. It is hoped that with the DGA 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 program has four primary objectives, namely, to highlight and encourage the effective and efficient utilization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGUs); 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 LGUs; 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 LGUs and to promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency and transparency in governance responsibility and encourage innovation.

In 2012, we started with two categories, namely, Best in Customer Empowerment (G2C) Awards, which recognizes the effect of an LGU’s practices using ICT solutions in its dealings with the public. This includes ICT solutions towards providing improved, timely, and relevant delivery of public services directly to the constituent; Best in Business Empowerment (G2B) Award which recognizes the effect of an LGU’s 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.

After three years, we added P2G or Digital Payments to cite initiatives in using digital payment gateways in the LGU level and D2G or Data-Driven Governance to recognize efforts of LGUs to ensure data privacy in their systems. Another new category was the Best in Inter-Operability (G2G) Award which recognizes the effect 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

For 2020, instead of P2G and D2G, two more new categories were added. Government Internal Operations (G2I) Award recognizes the efforts of an LGU in developing or improving its internal systems and adhering to various recognized standards, to be able to provide better service to its internal customers. The Best in Covid19 Pandemic Response (G2P) which is a special category recognizes the LGUs who were extremely adaptable to the unusual circumstances presented by the COVID19 pandemic in the timely delivery of their services with the use of ICT solutions. It rewards quick thinking, innovation, and resourcefulness.

Since 2012 there are four criteria, namely innovative management (demonstrates the degree to which the entry explored, applied and managed the elements and strategies that brought about the success of the entry); impact (demonstrates the major results (output, outcome, impact), their effects, and benefits to the recipients of the service such as the public, employees, or business); extent of ICT adoption (to include interoperability and data security); and replication potential and sustainability (demonstrates the model qualities of the practice with the possibility and applicability of replicating it in other localities and shows the level of sustainability or that the LGU can continue the project by addressing major disruptions).



I have been silent for three days since the major technical glitch of the Bacolod Barter Community (BBC) happened this week because as founder, together with all the moderators – we are deeply affected by this development. But despite our sadness, we know that we need to be transparent and explain the situation.  

On Tuesday this week, September 15, at around 9 o’clock in the morning, the Bacolod Barter Community was disabled by Facebook due to a number of breaches or posts that went against Facebook community standards, which accumulated since May 2020. Out of nearly 250,000 posts, BBC has incurred more than 80 breaches or posts of items, which under FB rules are not allowed “for selling”. Since Facebook has currently no rules for bartering. We have immediately blocked, removed or muted all the members whose posts were taken down by Facebook as a breach. The breaches include mostly surgical disposable masks (which is regulated by Facebook because of pandemic), and live animals, airsoft and vape.  This situation also happened to other online barter communities.

We have constantly ensured not to behave as buy and sell or a commercial trading group page such that the strict FB regulations applying to commercial transactions can be reconsidered. Notwithstanding, everything that Facebook prohibited to be sold online, BBC also disallowed to be bartered online.

We have tried every day to advice our members against Facebook breaches and our moderators have constantly tried to avoid errors of approving them. The cumulative number of posts DECLINED by all volunteer moderators have reached more than 20,000 in a span of four months. This only means that we have exerted so much effort in making sure that everyone gets to barter and posts that are violating mechanics are prohibited.    

Also on September 15 the same day BBC went offline, the BBC team has begun the process of appeal which is on-going up to this day. We have appealed to Facebook to consider online barter communities as public good, just like we look at Facebook as a public good – for us who have made it a platform to pursue our advocacies.

The Bacolod Barter Community has benefitted thousands of families in Bacolod and in Negros Occidental in finding ways and means to survive the serious economic impacts of the quarantine restrictions due to the pandemic. Thousands have lost their jobs and opportunities to earn on a daily basis. Many small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs have folded up or have temporarily closed their businesses. More than half of the city have started to re-connect, while others have built new connections or stronger connections because of daily online bartering activities. Online barter has spontaneously spread across the country in May, sending message of hope and spreading kindness to all communities. Online barter has become a social technology to uplift the otherwise desolate and dampened spirits that prevailed in our physical communities after several months of lockdown restrictions. In sum, we have shown the world what kindness is all about in the midst of fear and uncertainties.

It is on these important points that we appealed to Facebook, and that therefore, up to now, we are praying that our page shall be restored.  As BBC Founder and Administrator, I take full responsibility for this technical situation and sincerely apologize to all members for all the inconvenience this development has caused everyone. I am immensely grateful to all moderators who spend so much time and resources to help me in this endeavor even without any remuneration. I am extremely thankful to our benefactors and members who shared prizes and items to bring cheers to our inspiring barter stories and challenges.  Most of all, I thank the more than 235,000 members who have become part of the vision of BBC for several months.

While awaiting the decision, also on the same day, September 15, we have started a new group page with the same name – BACOLOD BARTER COMMUNITY – and the same logo, the same mechanics and user-experience  – with this URL –

We invite everyone to this new home with renewed optimism and hopeful spirits. I also encouraged everyone to be more responsible in all our bartering activities – from posting, to bartering in the threads, up to exchanging.

Whether our original BBC group is restored or that we continue on with this new group – the Bacolod Barter Community commits, with the help of the Almighty God, and the cooperation of all members – to be STRONGER, WISER, AND KINDER!

Let us not give up and continue to help one another. Let us put our trust in the Lord and rely on His Wisdom and Goodness to decide what is best for us.

Tomorrow is a new day! Padayon kita! Madamo nga salamat!

Sa Barter May Kindness, Sa On-line May Classes: Five Inspiring Stories of Young Negrenses

Young Bacolodnons and Negrenses all need to face the harsh realities of a world seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic along with million of young people around the world. They are left with no choice but to strike balance between adapting to the so-called New Normal and still remain optimistic and determined to pursue their goals and aspirations in life. One important step is to pursue their studies despite the everything that is happening and inspite of difficult circumstances. There’s a brave new world waiting for our young people. But first they have to conquer the challenges posed by migration of classroom learning to virtual classes.

As September came, the Bacolod Barter Community launched a challenge for its members to mark its fourth month – to nominate and share a story about someone deserving to receive a Smart Bro Pocket Wifi LTE with 250 load. In just one day, the challenge drew 153 names. Judges went through all the stories and picked five young people. Their identities and stories were also validated. We invite you to read the short sharing of the nominators about their nominees below, in their own words and be inspired. There stories will give us a glimpse of the difficulties our young people face today as they immerse themselves in online learning.

Evame Lastimoso

Evame was nominated by her sister-in-law: Chirry May Despe, who wrote: “I chose Evame Lastimoso nga mtagaan sang pocket wifi kay naga believe gid ako sa iya sa pag dedicar sa pag-eskwela nya 15 years old palang sya nagbusong nasa but wala gid sya nag stop sa schooling nya until now nga ma 3 years old na baby nya. Sya ang akon nga bayaw kag ang iya bana isa lamang ka trycycle driver kay tungod sa pandemic indi ka byahe iya bana gabaligya nalang sila fishball Kung hapon para my ibakal gatas ka bata ya. While gatulok ko sya nabudlayan ko kay gastart na online class nila kung gabe sya kag aga pa gabugtaw para mag answer sang mga questionaire nila kay pagkahapon mabaligya naman sya fishball sa benta nya sa fishball dira pasa gakwa ipaload 70 pesos good for 1 week para sa iya online class. I hope attorney sya mapilian nyu. She deserve nga makakwa ka wifi para ndi na sya nabudlayan pa.tama ka tutum nga baye pag abot sa pageskwela ya I salute her. GODBLESS attorney

(I choose Evame to receive a pocket wifi because I am impressed by her dedication to her studies. She became pregnant when she was only 15 years of age but she never quit school. Her husband who is a tricycle driver no longer had trips because of the pandemic. So as couple, they sold fishball in the day time, where Evame gets 70 pesos per week for Internet load for her online classes. I hope she gets the wifi because she is very hardworking when it comes to her studies).

Floriane Flores

Floriane was nominated by her aunt, Angelie Flores, who wrote: Gin pili ko sya nga angay hatagan sang pocket wifi ang akon nominado ky bisan ano ka budlay ga porsigido gid cla nga 5 nga mag utod nga maka tapos bisan ga patay patay ubra sa tawo ang ila nga iloy para my pang adlaw adlaw nga gawion ky ang amay nila wala na ga suporta sa ila kg very proud sa ila nga lima nga gin padako cla nga closer to God nga every Saturday ga serve gid cla nga bisan wala na ang amay nila ga suporta kg ga pakita sa ila pero ang heart nila nga mag ulutod wala sang ka akig kg ang mabatian mo lang sa ila palangga man japon namon c papa bisan wala nya na kami gina sapak batunon man japon namon siya kung balik cya… tani mapilian ang akon nominado salamat

(I chose Floriane because of her determination and that of her siblings despite the difficulties they face especially in not being supported by their own father. I am proud of them because they were raised with close relationship to God. Such that despite of their father not looking at their welfare, all of them still loves him and wish to accept him if he comes back and live with them.)

Raphael Casim

Raphael was nominated by a schoolmate Cherise Ascalon Cordova, who wrote: “Hi this is a batchmate of mine from lasalle nursing. Nursing in lasalle is very expensive however he is a scholar cause his dad works there. He is very smart and very hardworking. Taga adsisa sha sa silay which is very very far. And waay sha wifi only load. And every lecture week ga zoom kami for our Nursing major subjects and mahal2 ang zoom mag kaon sa load. A day guru he spends at least 200 for load. Nd man gd sila amo na ka rich and he is really challenged. To think sometimes grabe gd demands sang mga teachers namon. U may think pag lasalle damo kwarta especially nursing but NO. Hindi man gd kami ni amo ni ka close but i think he really deserves nya effortan cause i want us all to graduate as a batch. Future frontliners and i know he deserves it. Grabe sha mag workhard sa school. Despite he is challenged gd but he even gives off much better outputs than my wifi. His dedication to being a RN someday is someone who can inspire a lot of people 🙂 he lives in the far flung areas of silay. My mom said sulodlon pagd. I just want him to cope up also sa lessons namon and zoom classes. Kisa left behind man sha”

(I nominate Raphael, my batchmate in Nursing at La Salle. People may think, students in La Salle are all rich. But that is not true. Raphael is a scholar because his father works in La Salle. They are not rich so he is also struggling with expenses for internet load and demands of teachers, since Zoom eats up a lot of load. We are not that close but I see him as very hardworking. He exerts more effort than even those with a lot of Internet connectivity. He lives very far from Bacolod, at AIDSISA in Silay so has problems copin with lessons. His dedication to his studies will surely make him a good registered nurse some day, a future frontliner. I want us all to graduate as one batch.)

Kimly Ballerta

Kimmy was nominated by a friend, Francis Jim Esing, who wrote “She’s like a sister to me. We have been friend’s since Grade 2 and up until now, 2nd year college na sya taking Secondary Education major in Mathematics sa BCC. Si mama nya lang ang ga buhi sa ila kay recently nag ka sakit sya amo na na stop iya work sa tiyange to help her education. Halin sang elementary asta Senior High School consecutive honor student sya. Hopefully mapili sya kay her sister kag sya gakinahanglan gid para sa ila pag eskwela para ma buligan ila iloy sa ulihi. Salamat.”

(She is a like a sister to me and we have been friends since second grade. Her mother is their only bread winner in the family. But now she is sick and so they need to close their small store. She and her sister really need the pocket wifi for the studies, so they can help their mother.)

️Sofie Cabinbin

Sofie nominated her self and wrote: Hi maam good eve, ako gle si Sofie Cabinbin taga brgy16 purok dalawidaw Bacolod City. Akon kaugalingon ang gin pili nga eh nominate kay tungod naga pati ako nga isa ko sa deserving kag indi lamang ako nga maga pulos sini bangud akon pagid mga manghud, bale tatlo kme kabilog, tatlo man kme ang maga tubang sng online classes, tanan kme ga skwela isa nako kag college samtang ang duwa ko ka manghud isa sa high school kag isa sa senior high kag manug graduate namn ini. Kag kme tanan gna pa skwela sang amon amay nga trisikad driver, kag sa sbng nga tyempo maam wla kme suga naga gamit lng kme sang kandila adlaw2 kag ga charge lng kme sang amon mga cellphone sa amon tiya sa piyak balay ma budlay mn pero kayanon nmun para ma baylohan nmun ang tanan nga sakripisyo nga gn himo samon sang amon amay kag nd mn kme makabayad sang suga sbng kay tungod sa mga galakatabo kag ang income sang akon amay husto lng nmun igasto adlaw2. tne isa ako sa mapilian kag naga pati ako nga deserving ko kay dako gd ini mabulig sa amon panglakaton sa amon maayo nga bwas damlag. Kag isa ini sa maka buhin sang amon problema sa pag tubang sang online classes. Amo lng ina kag madamo gd nga salamat sa pag basa ☺️ halong kita tanan kag God bless us ☺️

(I nominate myseld because I know I deserve the pocket wifi. Me and my two siblings, all three of us need to study so we can repay the hardwork of our father. Our father is our breadwinner in the family and he is a driver. But since we are in a pandemic, he barely has trips. Because we need to spend for our daily needs, we have not paid our electricity bills. So now we have no light and we only charge our cellphones in our aunt’s house next door. We badly need to win the prize to help us with our studies.

The Bacolod Barter Community thanks Atty. Meddie Arbolado, Jr. for donating five units of Smart Bro Pocket Wifi. Meddie has been supportive of the mission of the barter community which is to spread kindness. Congratulations to all our five young winners and may God continue to bless them.

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Cross-Functional and Cross-Industry and Sectoral Experience

Highly qualified executive leader and manager with over 26 years of experience in leading teams, companies, institutions and large organizations with proven ability to achieve targets and deliverables according to the mission and strategies of these entities. Possesses the leadership ability to lead stakeholders in creating shared vision and agenda to reach goals. Adept in legal knowledge and office management as a lawyer and senior law firm partner for 20 years. Possesses excellent team management and communications skills as an academic professor for 21 years, and national organization leader for various organizations for over 16 years. Passionate about the growth of jobs and investments especially in the countryside as multi-awarded champion for ICT and innovation.


A combination of practice legal profession in corporate and political setting, exposure and actual immersion in policy – making procedures with a strong foundation in senior management skills, academic expertise and public and media relations

  • Senior Partner, Batapa-Sigue and Sigue Law Offices (2004 to Present)
  • Law Professor for Legal Ethics, Advanced Legal Writing and Legal Research, University of St. La Salle (USLS) – Bacolod (1998 to Present)
  • Supervising Fellow for Design Thinking and Digital Transformation, Development Academy (DAP) Graduate School of Public Managemenyy
  • 9 Years as City Councilor of Bacolod from 2004 to 2007, 2007 to 2010, and 2013 to 2016
  • Former In-House Counsel, Legal Department, Victorias Milling Company, Inc. (1999 to 2001)
  • Professor, College of Business and Accountancy, USLS – Bacolod (1999 – 2007)
  • Professor, College of Education, University of St. La Salle – Bacolod (1999 – 2004)
  • Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R) 2006-2007
  • Former Reporter/News Writer, ABS-CBN TV 4 (1993 – 1997)
  • Former Chief, News Desk, GMA TV 10 (1991-1993)
  • Former Reporter/News Writer, Negros Daily Bulletin, Western Visayas Daily Informer (1993 to 1997)
  • Former Anchorwoman, Pulso sa Aksyon Radyo, DYEZ Bacolod, 2004 to 2010
  • Former TV Host, The She Factor and JOBS on TV aired at Sunshine Channel TV 14 Bacolod (2006-2010)


A strong sense of advocacy and commitment towards social issues involving women and children and the advancement of jobs and opportunities especially in the countryside starting from college as university student president and campus journalist. Equipped with advanced written and oral communication and leadership skills.

  • President and Co-Founder, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), Inc. 2010-2012
  • Trustee, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), Inc. 2012-2017
  • Vice President, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), Inc. 2018
  • Former Chair and Founder, and current Executive Director, Bacolod – Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT), Inc. (2008 to Present)
  • Vice President, Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society (ATLAS), Inc. 2012 to Present
  • President, Philippine ICT Innovation Network, Ink. 2013 to Present
  • Board Member, Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. 2013-2016
  • Council Vice President, Bacolod Girl Scout Council 2012-2015
  • Chief Consultant, Negros Occidental ICT Investments Program (2011-2013)
  • Chair, NICP eGOV Awards 2012-2017 (Excellence in Governance through ICT)
  • Division D Governor, Toastmasters International 2002 (Member of TM since 1993 with the current norm of:
  • Advanced Communicator Gold – Toastmasters International
  • Advanced Leader Bronze – Toastmasters International
  • Chair, Bacolod City Information Technology (IT) Focus Team 2005-2007
  • President, Supreme Student Council (University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos) SY 1991-1992
  • Opinion Editor, The Tolentine Star of (University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos) SY 1992-1993

AWARDS and citations

Has developed a sense of citizenship and responsibility to empower sectors in developing strategies to create jobs and driving investments especially in the countryside to achieve inclusive growth. Has been exposed to international avenues for learning innovation and new ideas for purposes of iteration and replication. Served as an inspiration to many stakeholders in various fields

  • 2016 The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Awardee for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Philippines
  • 2013 Philippine Individual ICT Contributor of the Year Awarded by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP)
  • 2012 Finalist, Individual ICT Contributor Awards Awarded by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP)
  • Top Ten Outstanding Young Leaders for 2009 chosen by the Asia Society Foundation under its Philippines 21 program and represented the Philippines in Malaysia in the Asia-Pacific Global Forum for Young Leaders
  • Recipient of Go Negosyo – Best Government Support for Business in 2007 by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship as Recipient as Proponent & Chair of the Bacolod Information Technology (IT) Focus Team adjudged as
  • Soroptimist International – Bacolod 2007 “Making A Difference in Women” Awardee 
  • Top 20 finalists in the Search for the 2007 Ten Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines (TOCP)
  • 2008 Outstanding Alumna in Public Service Awardee, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Nergos Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R)
  • 2002 National Champion in Evaluation Speech during the Philippine Toastmasters District Convention
  • 1993 Best Debater during the Inter-Collegiate Debate Series conducted by the Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports Cultural and Education Association (NOPSSCEA)


Highly exposed to international environments for growth and learning along with other leaders all over the world. Has been trained extensively for ICT investments promotions both local and national level

  • 2018 AVPN-BMW Foundation Policy Leadership Fellow, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Singapore
  • 2017 Guest of Honor and Resource Speaker, 1st BPO Guatemala Conference, Guatemala City and Key Resources Speaker for Guatemala Cities Workshop
  • 2017 Philippine Representative to the Korean Innopolis Science and Technology Park Management Course, Daejeon, South Korea
  • 2017 MAGIC Cooperator for Corporate Innovation, Cyberjaya, Malayasia
  • 2017 Resource Speaker in the 7th Confluence Conference in Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 2014 Member of the Philippine All-Women Trade Mission to Japan for the Yokohama Women Festival and Exposure to Various ICT companies
  • 2015 Key Resource Speaker, “Making Strides, Advancing Women in Leadership” Global Networks Forum, Miami, Florida, US organized by Eisenhower Fellowship and German Marshall Fund, Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance, and Harvard Loeb
  • 2014 Haggai Institute Alumna, Maui, Hawaii, USA
  • 2012 Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in the Eisenhower Fellowships Multi-Nation Program (Fellowship focused on ICT, ICT Startups, Animation and Game Development and Health Care Information Management)
  • Aspen Fellow, Aspen Leadership Institute, Aspen, Colorado, USA May 2012
  • 2010 Asia Society Trade Mission to Taipei, Taiwan hosted by MOFA, Taiwan
  • Top 21 Fellows for the UNDP Philippine Leadership Course for Young Leaders (PYLG) in Governance for Visayas – Mindanao Cluster  in 2008 under the Asia Young Leaders in Governance (AYLG) Program

Outstanding Programs and Projects

Possess the ability to work beyond what is compliant to what is exceedingly possible in order to achieve growth targets. Skillful in bringing all stakeholders together for  a shared vision and developing roadmaps with concrete timelines and success indicators

  • Proponent, Excellence in Governance Through Information and Communications Technology (ICT) or eGOV Awards under the NICP (2012 to present)
  • Proponent & Chair of the Bacolod Information Technology (IT) Focus Team adjudged as Go Negosyo – Best Government Support for Business in 2007 by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Proponent of the Alternative Skills Program for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) – a project given the Award of Excellence for implementation for Region VI under the Philippine Action Programme to Protect Working Children and Combat and Eliminate Child Labour of International Labor Organization – International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC)
  • Proponent of the Bacolod IT Investment Program adjudged as the Best Public Sector Practice in Region VI – LGU Category in 2006 by NEDA and RDC VI
  • Instrumental in having Bacolod included as one of the Next Wave Cities in the Outsourcing and Off-shoring Industry of the Philippines (5th Place in 2009 and 3rd Place in 2010) and now Center of Excellence for ICT-BPM in the Philippines
  • Instrumental in having Bacolod included as the No. 100 City in the world ranked by Tholons International as among the Top 100 Cities in the World for Outsourcing for 2010 to 2017
  • Proponent, Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) as the Negros First CyberCentre

Affiliations and Advocacies

Equipped with skills developed over long years of immersion and practice as a federalist, media person, environmentalist, journalist, resources speaker for various organizations

  • Founding Member, Centro Federal – Bacolod in University of St. La Salle since 2000
  • Resource speakers for Capacity Development Workshops in Creating ICT Councils organized by NICP and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Formerly CICT since 2016
  • Host, JOBS on TV over Sunshine Channel 14 (2007 to 2010)
  • Host, Pulso sa Aksyon Radyo DYEZ Aksyon Radyo (2004 -2010)
  • Columnist, The Legal Perspective, Negros Weekly (2004 to 2010)
  • Host, The SHE Factor aired through Sunshine Channel 14 (2007 – 2009)
  • Head, Women and Children’s Legal Desk, Law Center, USLS College of Law
  • Volunteer Counsel for Bacolod Women’s Center, DAWN Foundation, Inc., Holy Family  Home, Kapisanan Nang Mga Brodkasters Nang Pilipinas (KBP)-Negros Occidental Chapter and Negros Press Club
  • Professional Resource Speaker, RA 7877, RA 9262, RA 7610, RA 8353, RA 8354, RA 9344 and other laws on women and children
  • Convenor, Earth Day (since 2007) – Bacolod and Negros Occidental
  • Advocate, Philippine Climate-Friendly Cities Project (electric jeeps) – GRIPP
  • Chair, Bacolod Sanggunian Committees on Women and Gender, Communications & Energy
  • Chair, Bacolod City Gender and Development (GAD) Council 2004-2007, 2007-2010

policy innovation work

Immersed and trained in legislative work and dynamics as a policy maker 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. As a city councilor for 9 years in, she has crafted, authored and led the legislation of major ordinances as follows:

  1. Creation of Bacolod Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) and TIP Help Desks in Seaports
  • Annual Gawad Kooperatiba Awards and Support to Cooperatives
  • Laying the Procedures for SP Endorsement to PEZA of ICT Parks , Buildings, Tourism Development Zones and Economic Zones
  • Celebration of April 22 as Earth Day in Bacolod City
  • Protection and Barangay Registration of Household/Domestic Workers
  • The Gender and Development (GAD) Code of Bacolod City
  • Protection of Watershed Areas, Establishing Watershed Development and Water Conservation Programs for Bacolod City
  • Institutionalization of Programs for Informal Sector Workers and Creating the Informal Sector Workers of Bacolod
  • Observance of June 13 – 19 as Social Work Week and Promotion of Social Work
  • Establishing the Fr. Mauricio Ferrero, OAR Street Ordinance
  • Creation of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Council & Development of ICT Industry (as Co-Author of Councilor Lyndon Cana)
  • 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
  • Observance of December 1 – 7 as Non-Government Organization-People’s Organizations (NGO-PO) Week
  • 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
  • Declaration of Bacolod as Organic City (Anti-GMO Ordinance)
  • Procedures for the Development of Medical Tourism Parks and Retirement Villages
  • Creation of the Bacolod Technology and Livelihood Development Center
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Measures Ordinance and Implementation of Strategies to Mitigate Pollution for Transport, Business and and Other Sectors
  • Comprehensive Health and Wellness Ordinance and Promotion of Medical Tourism
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ensuring Effective Implementation of Food Safety Standards in Bacolod City and the Implementing Rules and Regulations
  • Creating the Bacolod Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council
  • 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
  • Establishing the Bacolod City Ordinance Awareness Week
  • Establishing Guidelines for the Selection of the  Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO) 

As policy consultant for Digital Transformation at the Office of Senator Sonny Angara, she researched and drafted the following pending bills:

Senate Bill No. 1469 – The National Digital Careers Bill

Senate Bill No. 1470 – The National Digital Transformation Bill With the following components:

  • Digital Competence Framework for Citizens
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Competency Framework for Teachers
  • Philippine Digital Strategy
  • National Digital Skills Development
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Digital Libraries and Learning Hubs
  • Digital Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Careers and Jobs
  • Digital Civil Service
  • National Digital Transformation Council


  • Juris Doctor (Bachelor of Laws) 1997 Pioneer Batch

University of St. La Salle (USLS) Bacolod City (June 1993 to March 1997)

  • Passed the 1997 Bar Examinations and was admitted to the Bar on May 7, 1998
  • Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science, 1993   

University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) Bacolod City (June 1990 to March 1993)

  • Certificate in Design Thinking for Innovation (2019), University of Virginia School of Business
  • Course Certificate for Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector (2020), University of Virginia School of Business

Fearless Innovation Forecasts for 2020

Published in SunStar Bacolod on January 15, 2020

Last week, I shared my four of my new year’s resolution and a list of ten paradigm shifts that I am hoping to see happen soon if we are to successfully survive this decade as a city, and hopefully as a country. This week, I am sharing my fifth resolution which is to share my knowledge and skills to as many people as possible. Last year, I have met with some of my fellow Toastmasters members to plan about creating public speaking workshops for professionals.

This week, I have launched the free digital marketing support for small entrepreneurs in Negros Occidental through the site.  I wish to help small entrepreneurs and promote the component cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental. Last year, when we were developing the site and linking all LGU sites, I noticed that not even half of the 19 municipalities and 12 cities have their own websites, and only a few have fully interactive functionalities aside from static data.

Our goal is to help assist in digitalizing simple processes like promotions from traditional flyers and physical marketing to virtual materials and digital marketing. Therefore, I humbly offer individual pages for free to small MSMES all around Bacolod and Negros Occidental and all LGUs for their temporary tourism sites. We will also assist in design and creating content. This is our little gift to Negros Occidental and fellow Negrenses. A team of young digital entrepreneurs in Bacolod can also provide you with free advice on how to promote your places and sell your products online taking advantage of eCommerce technologies.

To pave the way for many more innovation, I am sharing some of my fearless forecasts in the field of innovation in 2020 in this week’s piece.

First: More countryside advocates will demand for development anchored on inclusive and sustainable growth and will no longer accept geographical challenges as a major stumbling block. Development to be sustainable must be inclusive.

Second: The more meaningful and relevant development ideas will come from the countryside. Technocrats of Metro Manila and other metropolitan cities need to listen more. The lack of a more engaged process of listening could be one of the major stumbling blocks for the frustrating disconnections I have perceived between technology advocates and end-users, or stakeholders, as a more profound term.

Third: Skills-based approach will be more pervasive in the formal education sector. Academicians have no choice but to adapt to Industry 4.0 talent requirements to avoid the eventuality of becoming diploma mills while their graduates seek other forms of practical industry training after receiving their diplomas.

Fourth: Other traditional sectors will start to be enlightened about how technology can be made cost-effective, seamless and ubiquitous but applied extensively for their own requirements. They will pierce the veil of mystery of the so-called digital divide. And unmask those who continuously create the divide for their own interest and profits.

Fifth: Design thinking will find its practical use in many milieus of society as a way to fuse disruptive technologies with community aspirations to create more meaningful solutions.

My earnest and fervent prayer for 2020 is to see more stakeholders start to realize the need to change. I hope I will start to make sense to as many key decision-makers as possible because I can support the ideas and examples with data and initiatives – if one has time to listen.

Our greatest enemy in 2020 is obsolescence. Sadly, this animal is well dressed up so colorfully, it’s like a silent virus. Politics has permeated every corner of society, at the risk of killing innovation before it can even prove its value. The lines have been cleverly blurred in the past decade. But this decade is a decade of purging. Innovation will find a true ally in inclusion. New technologies will force the issue of change and adaptation.

READ original column HERE.

Paradigm Shifts in 2020

Published in SunStar Bacolod on January 7, 2020

A decade of great progress starts with one day. Just like a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. The world welcomes the new decade in high spirits and with high hopes that this year will be more favorable than the previous one. 2019 seems to be a long time ago with all these feeling of optimism just waiting to escape – the kind that believes things need to change. The first days of the year were spent in reflection – about what needs to change.

By now I have listed a couple of new year’s resolution. On top of my list is my drive to seriously work on things that will reduce my carbon and waste footprint on this planet. Everyone deserves to breath the same fresh air I do and to occupy the safe healthy environment that I do. My passion for environmental protection will continue more aggressively this year as I wish to combine information and communications technology (ICT) with environmental projects. Consistently, I will be spending my weekends organizing garage sales.

My second resolution is to go back to active law practice. My years in politics have affected my legal profession. A few days ago. I launched my Philippine Legal Research site – – a repository of all legal researches of my law students and my legal articles.

My third resolution is to spend more time with old friends, to reconnect with my past and arrange my schedules and activities in a way that I get to have time with them.  My fourth resolution is to actively collate, process and share data to be shared for positive purposes – education, information, convenience, guidance, among other things.

Reflecting on all the things I have learned in the past decade, which is probably the most exciting, having travelled every year to a foreign country and attending various fellowships, I came up with Top 10 Paradigm Shifts for the Philippines (because it is happening elsewhere). Some truths are painful. But don’t hate me, I am just pointing out the direction away from obsolescence. The paradigm shifts that are hard to happen or come by almost anywhere you go because of hardened traditions and close-mindedness. But they are all worth exploring. I think only when these new paradigms happen – can we see big data used for good. Here are “shifts” I wish to see in this decade:

1) For business chambers and sectors to be led by entrepreneurs rather than corporate employees,  and landlords;

2) For local government to be led by licensed professionals who are known in their fields of experience and exposure instead of professional politicians;

3) For enterprise organizations to be led by social enterprise and impact development professionals instead of individual business owners;

4) For universities to be led by instruction experts with years of industrial exposure instead of purely academicians;

5) For startup development and innovation initiatives to be led innovation and business development professionals with extensive entrepreneurship experience instead of government theorists;

6) For environmental campaigns to be led by professionals knowledgeable in harnessing technology and creating green solutions aside from and together with environmental activists;

7) For arts and culture programs to be led by artistic catalysts with understanding on building creative spaces and putting together a culture of creativity and not just individual artists;

8) For media to be led by professionals with understanding of big data, data analytics, how public react to data and how data can mold public opinion for positive development instead of media trying to simply earn a living;

9) For women’s advocacies to be led by women (or men) aware and learned about mechanisms to make women more productive and contributory to the growth of their household and economy as respected members of society, and not just gender advocates shouting for equality; and

10) For youth development programs to be led by independent-minded, resourceful, creative and knowledgeable members of the new generation rather than just youth leaders of politicians.

READ original column in SunStar Here.

My Hero is You: How Kids Can Fight COVID-19

My Hero is You – Storybook for Children on COVID-19

Published Date: 31 March 2020

“My Hero is You” is a book written for children around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My Hero is You” should be read by a parent, caregiver or teacher alongside a child or a small group of children. It is not encouraged for children to read this book independently without the support of a parent, caregiver or teacher. The supplementary guide called “Actions for Heroes” (to be published later) offers support for addressing topics related to COVID-19, helping children manage feelings and emotions, as well as supplementary activities for children to do based on the book.

Sara’s mum is her hero because she is the best mum and the best scientist in the world. But even Sara’s mum cannot find a cure for the coronavirus.

This book was a project developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG). The project was supported by global, regional and country based experts from Member Agencies of the IASC MHPSS RG, in addition to parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries. A global survey was distributed in Arabic, English, Italian, French and Spanish to assess children’s mental health and psychosocial needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. A framework of topics to be addressed through the story was developed using the survey results. The book was shared through storytelling to children in several countries affected by COVID-19. Feedback from children, parents and caregivers was then used to review and update the story.

Over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world took the time to share with us how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank you to these children, their parents, caregivers and teachers for completing our surveys and influencing this story. This is a story developed for and by children around the world.

As the sun rose, they landed in a lovely desert by pyramids, where a small group of children were playing. The children cried out in joy and waved at Sara and her Ario.

This IASC MHPSS RG acknowledge Helen Patuck for writing the story script and illustrating this book. Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Leila decided to travel with Ario and her new friends. Sara was glad Leila joined them because she knew that sometimes we need to support each other. They flew quietly, without words, but Leila knew her new friends cared a lot about her.


Note: I found this piece in my computer files today. It looked like an unfinished speech in 2019. Let me share it anyway to preserve it.

As I enter one of the most crucial challenges in my life to day – running for the mayor of the City of Bacolod – I face another 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 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.

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. 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 other 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.

N is for new ideas and solutions. 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.

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. 

S is for Sectoral Participation and Consensus Building. 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. 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 program
  3. Comprehensive land use plan
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