“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 121st Philippine Independence Day in Bacolod public plaza Wednesday, June 12.
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 and wreath-laying ceremony 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.
He said 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 that fulfilling that vision was long and hard since blood was shed and many lives were lost in the process. Today, more than any other day of the year, we remember affectionately those who fought the battle and brave bullets of the enemies so that we could build a free nation. Let us dedicate this special day for them,” he said.
He added that today is most appropriate in expressing our gratitude and honor to them as we commemorate their heroism, patriotism, nationalism and self-sacrifice, all for the sake of freedom for the country.
Leonardia noted that for this year’s theme “Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan”, the change we have been fighting for is an offer for a bright future.
“True, indeed, because the framework of development we want for the city charts our future needs. This is charting the future of our children and their children’s children. Just as freedom is our legacy from our forefathers, a Bacolod City that they can be proud of is our legacy to them,” Leonardia said.
He said that today there is a need to support, believe in and fight for this development framework.
“Let us all join in this vision and in this desired development framework as we work together in peace and unity. This is all we need, the will, the strength, the coherence or unity and the tenacity to fight against all odds, no bolos, no bloodshed but only the true and pure spirit of a Bacolodnon who loves his Bacolod with all his heart and soul,” he added. (MAP)