Participants of the Basic Course on Smart Urban Management and Governance are shown with DAP-CFG Managing Director Imelda Caluen (first row, sixth from left) and DAP Project Officer Michelle Belga (first row, right).

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Center for Governance (CFG), rolled out the Basic Course on Smart Urban Management and Governance last October 15-17 at the DAP Building, Pasig City for some 20 participants.

The course is the DAP’s first public offering on smart governance and it is set to be part of its regular course offerings for local government units. It highlighted the “smart city” framework as a potential tool in enhancing good governance and public sector productivity by equipping participants with knowledge on the current trends in the public sector and the evolving demands of a digital society as well as the smart city framework and standards. It also presented the challenges and implications in pursuing smart city transformation and management. As a culminating activity, the participants presented their workshop outputs that identified potential areas for smart initiatives focusing on the following smart city elements: mobility, environment, governance, people, and economy.

“In the desire of leaders in [the] public sector to provide the best quality of life for their citizens and constituents, new technologies, the internet of things, digitization, and other disruptions to the status quo have been introduced to governance. These things have become the norm and those who choose to ignore them run the danger of being left behind,” said Celso C. Santiago, Jr., acting managing director of the DAP Institutional Marketing Center, who welcomed the participants on behalf of DAP President Engelbert C. Caronan,  Jr.  He challenged the participants to join the battle of ideas by pointing out that the competition among cities and localities is not about having the most resources anymore but having the best ideas.

Meanwhile, DAP-CFG Managing Director Imelda Caluen thanked the participants for giving DAP the opportunity to influence change in the way they do things, co-create new ideas and innovations that will help address problems in cities, provinces and the nation through smarter solutions. She also shared her optimism for the participants to turn their learnings to concrete actions and initiatives to improve public service delivery.

The course’s roster of resource persons include: Darryl Garcia of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Engr. Raul Sabularse of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development; Edgardo Del Rosario and Ann Fernando of the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Philippine Standards; Atty. Raul Cortez of Microsoft Philippines; and Michelle Belga of the DAP.   Representatives from cities of Valenzuela, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City shared about their LGU-initiated smart solutions.

Representatives from the cities of Bacolod, Batac, Baybay, Ligao, Naga, Navotas, Masbate, San Fernando, and John Hay Management Corporation comprised the first batch of participants who completed the initial run of the course. – Mel Tabucao-Hipol