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May 05, 2017

by Xavier University Intern, Rage Maegan Sabuero


 Last April 27 2017, the Metro Cebu Development & Coordination Board (MCDCB) spearheaded a meeting with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Salalima introducing Mega Cebu’s vision on Smart City at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center.

 DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima highlighted the importance of a city to be developed then becoming one of the Smart Cities. “Time will come when we will be working alongside robots. If you introduce automation, there is a greater production. Greater production means greater growth and thus more employment,” he said.

 Salalima said that robots will never replace humans because we have love and compassion, which form the foundation of Smart Cities. “Automation will only come to collaborate and be of assistance to humans,” he added.

 Salalima also imparted his personal experiences and talked about service for the people and by the people.  “I am in public service because I am sorry for my sins to the Lord. I thank the Lord for all the graces and I ask for more blessings for the sake of the people I serve. At the end of the day, I have done nothing but practice as a lawyer whose words are expensive. Now, my words are free of charge,” he said.

 Salalima hopes to surmount the division of our nation.

 MCDCB Executive Director Evelyn Castro conferred about the present status of Metro Cebu. “Cebu is experiencing a lot of urbanization, and along with it comes challenges. This is where we begin,” Castro said.

 Meanwhile, Focused Area Based Committee (FABCOM) on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Chairman Charis Fiel discussed its goals, the main goal being – to facilitate the adoption of ICT for a smarter Mega Cebu. “It’s putting together activities or recommendations with the help of Secretary Salalima and his team to enable to move towards the goal of a smarter city.” she said.

 Provincial ICT Head Jeannette Saluba lobbied on IT institutionalization. “There should really be ICT Personnel with Plantilla positions to push the projects for IT. Out of 51 LGUs, tatlo lang siguro yung may IT. It will really incapacitate the LGUs. Mahirap i-implement yung projects kasi walang champions sa LGU. We will not move forward,” she said.

 Salalima is open to the idea and had only one concrete message: “Compile everything that you ask from DICT and then we’ll meet. We can even bring this to Manila and push for an Executive Order issuing a mandate particularly on IT institutionalization in all LGUs.”

 The MCDCB marks the conclusion of the event, in tradition, through the signing of the Mega Cebu “bugsay” as a symbol of cooperation together with DICT Secretary Salalima, his team and the Mega Cebu leaders.

 “We need to paddle harder, to reach our dream; our goal in becoming a smart city region for all,” said Mega Cebu MCDCB RPOD Mhike Jelord Rollo.


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