The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance creating the Baguio City Information and Communications Technology Council, defining its purpose and functions and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Vladimir Cayabas stated that the aforesaid council strives to help the city government achieve its goal of transforming to a smart and resilient highly urbanized city.
Further, good governance can be much attained when present and future local leaders are highly committed in introducing new ways and measures enabled by technology aside from the fact that information and communication technology driven processes and structures paired with innovative leadership are proven means to increase citizens’ awareness and active participation resulting to winning back the trust of the people towards the government.
The BCICTC shall be composed of the local chief executive as chairperson and a private sector representative as vice chairperson. The City Planning and Development Coordinator shall serve as the action officer while the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Education, Culture, Creativity and Heroical Research; Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Public Utilities, Traffic and Transport Legislation; Local Information Officer; City Budget Officer; Management Information and Technology Division (MITD) representatives; 1 representative each from Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; 6 academe representatives from higher education institutions; 8 representatives from the information and communications technology (ICT) sector such as telecommunication companies, business process outsourcing companies power providers, among others; and representatives from the following line agencies: Department of Information, Communications and Transportation (DICT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic Development Authority and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Among the prescribed functions of the said council include to craft, assist and recommend to the city council needed digital policies purposely to further grow and increase technology awareness and appreciation among the people; prepare annual local plan on ICT in consonance with the DICT programs and the Philippine Development Plan for technology and innovation; evaluate the implementation of all activities, projects and programs of the local government related to ICT and make recommendations of needed; represent the ICT sector in the City Development Council; select and confirm who will sit as vice chairman of the council who shall be from the private sector; coordinate with the appropriate agencies like the DICT, DOST, and other government instrumentalities for service alliance and program collaboration and such other essential functions as may be deemed necessary.
The ordinance mandated the appropriation of some P600,000 each year and the same shall be included in the annual budget of the City Mayor’s Office subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations to sustain the operation of the said council.
Moreover, the funding will be primarily used for ICT program policy research and development in aid of legislation, public consultation and collaborative meetings, policy vetting, assessment and formulation.