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DICT to name 20 Digital Cities in the Philippines by March 2020

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) aims to name the next 20 Digital Cities in the Philippines by March 2020.

About the initiative

According to a recent press release, Digital Cities is a program under the Digital Philippines initiative.

Digital Philippines is the flagship initiative of the DICT that aims to transform the Philippines and Filipinos to enable full utilisation of the potentials of ICT through five focused programs. These are:

  1. Digital Government
  2. Digital Classrooms
  3. Digital Workplace
  4. Digital Workforce
  5. Digital Communities

The additional cities will be selected based on the scorecard system developed in collaboration with the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) locators or investors, through the IT & Business Process Association Philippines (IBPAP).

The set of metrics reflects what investors look for in selecting the perfect location for their business.

Each city will be assessed based on four criteria. These are:

  1. Talent availability
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Cost of doing business
  4. Business environment and risk management.

Being hailed as a Digital City is descriptive of the city’s capability to cater to global business investments in the IT-BPM sector.

Benefits

Furthermore, it entails continuous support from the Department in terms of talent and infrastructure development.

The Department will also provide assistance in creating ICT councils that would manage these cities’ business environment, among others.

As of current, there are a total of 25 duly recognised Digital Cities all over the Philippines.

Since their recognition, these cities have exhibited significant changes within their localities. These significant changes include:

  1. Overall boost in economic growth
  2. Increase in employment and commercial activity
  3. Improvement in the quality of lives among communities.

The cities, which will soon be added to the list, are projected to experience the same progress as those that were first identified.

They are also predicted to further add to the national economic growth of the country.

digitalcitiesPH

In 2017, OpenGov reported on the DICT’s launch of digitalcitiesPH.

The digitalcitiesPH programme is the new brand name of the Next Wave Cities Initiative, a collaborative advocacy program of DICT with IBPAP and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

The programme focuses on the development of ICT-enabled hubs that will serve as business and innovation centres and investment destinations outside Metro Manila, thus creating economic opportunities in the countryside.

It aims to spur inclusive growth and economic development in the country.

Next Wave Cities is said to have been instrumental in bringing 30% of outsourced information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) work outside Metro Manila.

Thailand’s Digital Smart City

Thailand, a Southeast Asian neighbour of the Philippines, also has Digital Smart City initiatives of its own.

In 2019, Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) (Digital), the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) and a major multinational tech company gathered to sign a memorandum of cooperation to support the important roadmap of the country in pushing Digital Smart City.

The agreement makes provisions for the exchange of knowledge and expertise in related technologies.

The Smart City initiatives are important because they require various departments to work together to develop and maintain the necessary digital and technological infrastructure necessary for a digital state.

This includes addressing and rectifying issues in cybersecurity and other issues related to cyberspace in order to integrate important issues from the design process from the beginning.

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