A MEMORANDUM of Agreement (MOA) between the City Government of Baguio and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was signed, paving way for the provision of free public Wi-Fi in the Summer Capital's establishments.
At the Baguio Convention Center, DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan Jr.
reiterated the need for faster information and communication based system to give officials of local government units (LGUs) in Baguio City and the Cordillera Region the decision-making needed in approaching problems not only with the coronavirus pandemic but with other problems that may face an LGU.
"That's the essence of connectivity, even during normal times through ICT, we must be able to transmit data very quickly and when we talk of data, we are usually referring to accurate, complete and timely, so that we can make rationale, informed and intelligent decisions. But now, we have Covid and we are tracking individuals who are the transmitters of the virus through objects and interactions with other human beings which is why it is important to have fast communications," Honasan said.
The Information and Communications secretary reiterated that for the government to be able to address the problem proactively and effectively, government should be one or several steps ahead.
"When we talk about Baguio, under the leadership of your government officials both national and local, you have a vision and I was telling your congressman and mayor that we intend to make Baguio City as a showcase not only in terms of responses to the Covid-19 virus but for development. Our frontliners are really our local government units and I'm not talking of city's but Barangays, and we really want to go granular. We will have to monitor and track families and individuals which is where technology comes in like this agreement which will also support the Smart City project of Baguio," the Information secretary stated.
Honasan pointed out that if the country is ready, there is a possibility for the country to be the digital hub for the Asia Pacific and the whole world setting its strategic location for corporate investments to invest.
"These investors will look for areas where they can promote their corporate objectives and address the Covid-19 issues which will be the pivotal role of Baguio. If we use this as a showcase together with Paranaque and Las Pinas, I think the world will take notice because the investors will come because of good policy environment characterized by continuity, sustainability and policy predictability and political will which what I call future proofing," Honasan said.
Meanwhile, in terms of data security, the Information and Communications secretary pointed out that this will have to be balanced with regulatory measures that fall under the law, stating that the Philippines is a government based on Article 3 of the Philippine Constitution, which protects life, liberty and property and happiness.
"Under Mon Liboro, the head of the National Privacy Commission, we are setting the trend in data protection not only in the region but in the globe and he has been elected in the board because our data protection measures, apparently which is more advanced than more developed country economically which is the good news. We are now the gate keeper of data privacy for the whole world," Honasan added.