BORONGAN City in Eastern Samar is working with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and other government institutions for a Smart City assessment and roadmap formulation as a major step towards economic development in the city, top local government officials said.

"The implementation of this project aims to promote good governance and transparency. Technology adaptation will make public service more efficient and will make civil servants more accountable to the people they serve,” said Borongan Mayor Jose Ivan "Dayan" Agda.

The mayor said the city will have an initial plan and roadmap to address current and future challenges in healthcare, education, infrastructure, security, and agriculture.

In a statement, Agda pointed out the significance of the agriculture sector in the city and how the Smart City initiative could help it grow and develop.

One of the projects is the Dukwag Agriculture Mapping Project, a unique aspect of the Smart City initiative that aims to create a comprehensive database of the city's agricultural resources, including land use and soil analysis, to help farmers make informed decisions and improve their yields.

“Borongan City is the first local government unit (LGU) in Eastern Visayas to take on the smart city development goal, as this highlights the city's pioneering efforts in pursuing innovative and sustainable development initiatives,” said City Information Officer Rupert Ambil II, who served as chairman of the Smart City campaign.

Ambil also lauded the collaboration between the Isabela State University - Cauayan Campus and LGU-Cauayan City in conducting the Smart City assessment and roadmap formulation in Borongan from May 10 to 13, 2023.

“The Smart City campaign is a significant milestone for the city and the region. By harnessing smart technologies and practices, Borongan City aims to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for economic development towards smart and sustainable development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ambil disclosed that Eastern Samar State University also expressed its commitment to supporting the program “by providing technical assistance and leading the research and development of the development initiatives of the program.”

“A stakeholders meeting is scheduled on the second week of June during the city's charter day anniversary to kick off the next phase of the smart city project. The meeting will gather key stakeholders and partners to present and discuss the next steps of the project, review the roadmap, and identify potential areas for collaboration,” Ambil said.

“This meeting highlights the city's dedication to creating a truly collaborative effort towards achieving smart and sustainable development,” he added.

The three-day assessment and roadmap formulation was attended by DOST Eastern Visayas Regional Director Engr. Ernesto M. Granada; Raquel Santos, Smart City Focal Person of DOST Region II; Atty. Reina Santos, City Infotech Officer and Smarter City Officer in Cauayan City; and Dr. Betchie Aguinaldo, Director for the Business Intelligence Research and Development Center (BIRDC), among other officials.

Other stakeholders who expressed support for the city’s smart city project during the event were Marilyn Radam, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations; Dr. Ramil Uy, Smart and Sustainable Communities Coordinator in Region 8; Dr. Arnaldo Amosco Jr., Provincial S&T Director for DOST Eastern Samar; Melvin Sacmar of DOST; and Engr. Dante Rosales and Claire Fernandez, of the Department of Information and Communications Technology. (SunStar Philippines)