September 25, 2020

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Iligan City, Philippine files bills to accelerate digital development

 

The Iligan City Representative Frederick W. Siao has filed two house bills that seek to promote the growth of Philippine digital careers and integrate digital technology in all areas of government.

National Digital Transformation Bill

House Bill 7049 or the National Digital Transformation Bill seeks to integrate digital technology into all areas of government. It is expected to greatly improve Philippine governance, socio-economic development, and services to citizens.

Notable features of the bill include:

  • Building and improving the digital competence of citizens through education and training initiatives.
  • Creating educational programs for teachers’ and educators’ development at a national and regional level.
  • The inclusion of information and communications technology in work, vocation, business, and life.

Currently, amid the health crisis, because businesses have found it necessary to shift to online and non-physical transactions, citizens could use the new skills and jobs, the representative explained.

National Digital Careers Bill

House Bill 7048 or the National Digital Careers Bill seeks to encourage the development of digital careers across all sectors of society. It aims to ensure that Filipino workers remain competitive and possess skills and competencies at par with global standards in the digital economy.

Under the bill, the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will create, design, and develop programs to ensure access to training, markets, and other forms of support or innovation strategies for digital careers.

Also, digital workers and freelancers will be entitled to certain incentives, such as scholarships for certification training, subsidies for use of facilities, office space, equipment, and/or services.

The bills were signed on 30 June, the same day the Digital Cities 2025 initiative was announced. Iligan City, along with 24 other cities, was named as one of the digital cities.

Digital Cities 2025 is a programme launched by DICT to increase investments in the countryside and create employment opportunities in their information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector.

These bills will provide the support needed by these cities to boost their BPO sector in the next five years.

As OpenGov reported, the Digital Cities 2025 programme is expected to determine the industry-readiness of new centres by creating and developing ICT hubs in identified locations.

The ICT hubs will serve as business and innovation centres to draw in investments that can be expected to create more jobs and other economic opportunities in areas outside the National Capital Region.

Under the programme, local government units (LGUs), ICT Councils, and IT-BPM locators will have access to information on strategies and best practices from the private and public sectors to effectively develop and grow the IT-BPM industry in the regions.

Digital Cities 2025 will help focal areas promote local participation to strengthen their economies and governance systems in the ‘new normal’.

The IT-BPM sector continues to be a priority for DICT, and it is ready to support and take the lead in making the necessary interventions to ensure that these digital cities achieve their potential.

Iligan city’s representative has been an active part in promoting the growth of the ICT industry since 2015. As a congressman and councillor of Iligan City, he co-authored an ordinance that created an ICT council tasked with attracting more investments in the city’s ICT industry. He also helped in the formation of the Iligan Lanao IT Experts (ILITE), composed of private IT practitioners.