Sigue: Vision 2020 for Bacolod (Part 2)

Disruptive Mode

ACCORDING to the American Optometric Society, having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. The 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance. With the very fast pace technology is moving and disrupting how we do things, even just a ten-year plan would be good enough for any visionary leader to nurture. Yesterday, I shared the first five items in my Vision 2020, a year that signals the start of a new decade. I consider it an ideal move for any community to create 2020 to 2030 masterplan. Continuing from yesterday’s column, here are the last five items in a list of ten.

Sixth, a 24/7 security and safety program to ensure peace and order in the city. I have seen samples of command centers designed by big information technology (IT) companies over the years but we do not really need to spend much to achieve a safe and peaceful community. We need to create intelligent systems that will allow citizens to help and prevent criminalities in the city. In some hackathons I have witnessed, young kids design mobile-based systems to help in law enforcement and even in rescue operations. If we can tap our startup community, we will surely have a lot of ideas to use.

Seventh, a long-term plan to ensure sustainable and potable water supply for our city that requires the cooperation of other local government units. Total privatization of water operations is definitely not an option. Supply and other parts of operation that do not deprive the people of controlling natural resources can be outsourced to conscientious and square-dealing private companies but to privatize the whole water management is not ideal, and simply an easy way out for leaders with tunnel vision.

Eighth, concrete sectoral engagement for major sectors such as the out-of-school-youth (OSYs), senior citizens and retirees and persons with disabilities (PWD) especially in empowering them to seek and implement solutions on their own for their respective concerns and needs. Some examples are specialized career centers for PWDs and OSYs, health and wellness centers for senior citizens and retirees.

Ninth, a holistic set of programs to build and promote Bacolod as a City of the Arts and support the creative economy. The United Nations has proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. The Department of Trade and Industry in collaboration with stakeholders have forged a creative roadmap for the Philippines which envisions that “by 2030, the Philippines will be the number one Creative Economy in ASEAN in terms of size and value of our creative industries, as well as the competitiveness and attractiveness of our creative talent and content in international markets.”

The scope includes six cultural domains, namely: cultural and natural heritage; performance and celebration; visual arts and artisan products; books and press; audio-visual, broadcast and interactive media; and creative services. Other related domains include tourism, and sports and recreation. Bacolod and Negros Occidental need to be part of this.

Tenth, an intensive talent development and skills training program for Bacolod and Negros Occidental. I have always been a federalist since college and therefore today, I still wish we can run our own innovative programs as a separate island from the Philippines if it is just too hard to get the buy in of our national government. There are at least two things I would like to see happen- if not in this country but in the city at least.

First, just like the European model, a digital competence citizen framework that creates a comprehensive standard for all citizens in the city to gauge their digital skills and knowledge according to their respective levels so that it becomes easier to design and develop training efforts to skill, upskill and re-skill Bacolodnons. Second, a quality apprenticeship program patterned after other countries, where graduates are able to expose themselves to one to four years of remunerated training work to learn the necessary skills and earn the relevant certifications specifically denominating those acquired skills.

Happy new year to all my readers.


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