DIGITAL jobs advocate and former Bacolod City Councilor Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was appointed undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communication (DICT).

She took her oath as one of the seven undersecretaries before DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy at the agency’s Central Office in Quezon City yesterday, August 4.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to assume the position,” she told SunStar Bacolod, adding that “I took my oath with the goal of helping our country leverage on digital innovation by including the countryside in the discussion.”

Batapa-Sigue said she is truly inspired by the direction clearly set by Uy, which is to include among his priorities the development of ICT-driven industries to generate more jobs and investments for the country.

The DICT, she said, is well-aware of the necessary metrics to build the ideal innovation ecosystem for digital business to thrive in all regions.

“Therefore, I believe my lens as a countryside digital advocate for almost two decades will come in handy as I tackle my new responsibilities with the help of the whole DICT and key stakeholders,” Batapa-Sigue added.

Known for being a catalyst for digital jobs and opportunities in the countryside, Batapa-Sigue said her passion is to help develop strong ecosystems in the form of ICT councils across the country as a venue for academe, government, and industry to collaborate and develop strategies to generate jobs and investments and drive digital innovation.

In 2007, she led the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (Bnefit) which worked for the successful inclusion of Bacolod as one of the six Centers of Excellence (COE) in ICT Business Process Management in 2014 and the Tholons International Top 100 Cities in the World for outsourcing destinations in 2010.

Bacolod City today has surpassed the thirty thousand jobs mark and continues to grow as one of the choice locations of ICT firms in the country.

In 2008, she co-founded the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), an umbrella organization of all ICT councils in every city, province and region, which is now the widest organization championing collaboration for digital innovation across all sectors in the local level.

As president of the NICP, she spearheaded the launch of the excellence in local governance through ICT (eGovernance) Awards, which was later adopted by the DICT as Digital Governance Awards.

She was named as Philippine Individual Contributor of the Year during the International ICT Awards given by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines in 2014, and as one of The Outstanding Women in Nation Service (Towns) awardee in the field of ICT in 2016.

She is the 2012 Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines and one of the 2009 Asia 21 Top Ten Young Leaders by Asia Society – Philippines.

Batapa-Sigue also served as consultant to the Negros Occidental ICT Investments Program and proponent of the Negros First Technology Business Incubator, the first ICT incubator in Negros Occidental in 2014.

In 2019, she served as Digital Transformation Consultant for the Tatak Pinoy Policy Program of the Office of Senator Sonny Angara.

There, she helped design laws for the Philippines to thrive in the digital age.

Also, she is a certified Go Negosyo Coach and Digitalization Mentor under the Department of Trade and Industry, and technical consultant for the Digital Cities Program of the DICT in 2021.

The lawyer served as city councilor of the Negros Occidental capital city for nine years from 2004 to 2007, 2007 to 2010, and 2013 to 2016.

Batapa-Sigue is a law professor for Legal Research and Legal Ethics since 1998 at the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1997.

She finished her Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos in 1993.

“I thanked everyone who joined my long journey and lead me to this triumphant day,” the new DICT undersecretary said.*