Al­zona: Ba­colod is leader in ICT

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“THIS year’s In­de­pen­dence Day theme, ‘Pag­babagong Ipinagla­ban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasa­n,’ aptly re­flects how the City of Ba­colod has em­braced the con­stantly ever-chang­ing times.”

This was the mes­sage of the Atty. Ivin Ron­ald Al­zona, of­fi­cer-in-charge Un­der­sec­re­tary for Re­gional Op­er­a­tions and Coun­try­side and ICT In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment, Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (DICT), dur­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tion of 121stphili­p­pine In­de­pen­dence Day in Ba­colod pub­lic plaza yes­ter­day.

Al­zona, who re­placed DICT Sec­re­tary Eliseo Rio as guest of honor and speaker for this year’s cel­e­bra­tion, joined the city of­fi­cials in the flag rais­ing cer­e­mony and wreath lay­ing at the pub­lic plaza.

Coun­cilor Em Ang said that Rio was not able to at­tend the city’s ac­tiv­ity be­cause of his tele­vi­sion guest­ing in Manila since June is an ICT month.

Al­zona said the Ba­colod City Gov­ern­ment is a leader in terms of ICT.

“I think many of us here al­ready know that we are in the midst of In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion and dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, and that those who can ride on this wave of change greatly reap the ben­e­fits of the 4th In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion,” he said.

Al­zona also com­mended the City Gov­ern­ment of Ba­colod for pro­vid­ing a healthy, vi­brant and in­no­va­tive ICT in­dus­try that al­lows its cit­i­zens to take full ad­van­tage of ICT, es­pe­cially in the field of gov­ern­ment ser­vices de­liv­ery, trade, techno­preneur­ship, fi­nance and health, among oth­ers.

Al­zona noted the City of Ba­colod has achieved “Masaganang Kinabukasa­n” by hav­ing about 35,000 direct Busi­ness Process Out­source (BPO) jobs, and over 100,000 jobs cre­ated that sup­port the more than 30 In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Busi­ness Process Man­age­ment Com­pa­nies that have lo­cated in Ba­colod’s 27 Parks and Cen­ters ac­cred­ited by the Philip­pine Eco­nomic Zone Au­thor­ity (PEZA).

Al­zona said there are now in­sti­tu­tions ac­cred­ited by the Tech­ni­cal Skills De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) and the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion (CHED) that im­ple­ment Ict-in­dus­try-cen­tric train­ings un­der the IT and Busi­ness Process As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (IBPAP) Ser­vice Man­age­ment Pro­gram.

“In fact, Ba­colod also has fully func­tional tech­nol­ogy busi­ness in­cu­ba­tion cen­ters that sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of our star­tups. The Ba­colod City Gov­ern­ment must be con­grat­u­lated for its ini­tia­tives in ex­pand­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for its con­stituents through their col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts with na­tional gov­ern­ment agen­cies like DICT, the academe, and the pri­vate sec­tor in de­vel­op­ing strate­gies to fur­ther im­prove the work­force, build­ing the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture, and pro­vid­ing an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for do­ing busi­ness with ease,” he said.

He added that given all th­ese mile­stones, the City Gov­ern­ment has given it­self the chal­lenge of out­do­ing and out­per­form­ing it­self.

Al­zona is also hope­ful that Ba­colod will re­turn to the Tholons Top 100 Dig­i­tal Cities as recog­ni­tion of its sup­port to its lo­cal ICT ecosys­tem, the de­vel­op­ment of the lo­cal in­no­va­tion sys­tem, and con­tin­u­ous dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion.

“We at the DICT hope to con­tinue work­ing with the City Gov­ern­ment in its en­deav­ors on pro­mot­ing dig­i­tal gov­er­nance, star­tups, and ca­pac­ity de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, en­sur­ing that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Roa Duterte’s march­ing or­ders for in­clu­sive growth are com­plied with un­til no one is left be­hind. We shall not stop in sup­port­ing Ba­colod City un­til the time comes that we can say no one is left be­hind,” Al­zona said.

“Pat­u­loy nat­ing ipagla­ban ang pag­babago up­ang ma­pa­natili ang ma­g­a­n­dang kinabukasa­n,” he said.

Mean­while, Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia, in a mes­sage de­liv­ered by City Ad­min­is­tra­tor John Orola, said 121 years ago, to­day a dream was re­al­ized and a vi­sion was ful­filled by many of our strong and fear­less lead­ers.

“This was to free the coun­try from the clutches of for­eign dom­i­na­tion and re­store sovereignt­y to us Filipinos to whom it rightly be­longs. We have to ad­mit

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