Four Metro LGUs to Pilot as Smart Cities in NCR

Four cities in Metro Manila are among the first in the National Capital Region to be enrolled under the Department of Science and Technology’s Smart Cities and Communities Program. The four were presented along with 76 other cities nationwide on 25 November 2023 during the celebration of the 2023 National Science, Technology, and Innovation Week at the Iloilo Convention Center, Iloilo City.

The Cities of Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Pasig, and Quezon City are among the “80 by 2028” – the DOST’s goal to turn 80 cities all over the country into smart and sustainable cities and communities by 2028.

Cities and communities that are considered “smart” are those that can harness technologies, innovations, and interconnectedness to deliver a higher quality of life for their citizens, aside from leading to a better and improved delivery of services, a competitive economy, and a sustainable environment.

DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum said that the Program “will facilitate the integration of various technologies and innovations within the key areas for intervention to harness the benefits for the welfare of the communities, and bring positive change in the lives of every Filipino through promotion of human well-being, wealth creation, wealth protection and sustainability.”

The DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) drafted the framework for the Smart City Program with indicators such as Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Quality, Water and Wastewater, Energy, Finance, Governance, Health and Living Recreation, Safety Security and Resilience, Infrastructure, Transportation and Mobility, Urban Planning, and Empowerment and Inclusion.

DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang stated that the goal is for no one to be left behind. To do this, Engr. Mabborang said that “the program will be giving people and communities the tools they need to make informed decisions and participate in designing and implementing smart and sustainable solutions.”

Through the grassroots approach, partner local government units (LGUs), in collaboration with their Provincial S&T Offices, will have the opportunity to conceptualize and propose their own projects under the program, based on the need, opportunities, and visions of their respective communities.

Secretary Solidum emphasized that the Smart Cities and Communities Program “is a people-centric and technology-driven strategy anchored on collaboration, cooperation and complementation of efforts among our partner key players.”

The Department is currently working with the Development Academy of the Philippines, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the program.

Secretary Solidum also mentioned that the Department will also engage the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development to capture the aspects of housing, human settlements and urban development. Further, DOST will also partner with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure the integration of environment and natural resources management and conservation to the smart city initiative. DOST is also exploring international-level cooperation agreements to expand the Program.

By: Pinky Marcelo, SCCU

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