DAVAO CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched its new umbrella Science and Technology program called Smarter Philippines to maximize the effect of Science and Technology on communities and people and eventually improve the quality of life of Filipinos and drive socio-economic growth throughout the country.

Secretary Mario G. Montejo of th`e Department of Science and Technology addressed Government and Industry professionals at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on how the Smarter Philippines six core areas of Smarter Government, Smarter Economy, Smarter Environment, Smarter Mobility, Smarter Living and Smarter People aims to address the nation’s pressing needs.

Among the examples given was DOST’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards project which is a key enabler in Smarter Environment wherein a combination of various technologies are used to develop environmental hazard models and weather monitoring systems to prevent the devastating effects of natural disasters.

“We believe that these intelligent ICT-enabled systems combined with scientific knowledge and local know-how will provide more solutions to our persistent problems, and result in better lives for our people. With the help of an engaged citizenry, we believe the Philippines can make quantum leaps in our socio-political and socio-economic systems, to reap the full benefits of a smarter future. Secretary Montejo Said.

Secretary Montejo elaborated on how intelligence can be embedded in many aspects of our daily lives to have significant transformational effect. “There really is no limit to the many ecosystems and infrastructures in which we can embed intelligence through science and technology. This smarter world of possible dreams is the mindset, and the paradigm that we see emerging. This emerging paradigm is truly what will complete the next revolution: the shift from “information societies” to “smarter (networked) societies”, to Smarter Philippines.

Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the DOST (DOST-ICTO) was also on hand to talk about the various initiatives his agency is spearheading to enable Smarter Government, particularly the Integrated Government Philippines or iGovPhil project wherein they are developing the infrastructure an applications to address government’s need for interconnectivity and more efficient and transparent public service.

“For our part, initiatives such as iGovPhil of the DOST-ICTO, DBM, Office of the President and DOTC, as well as the Medium-term Information & Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative, or MITHI, of the DBM and ICTO, aim to bring about significant changes in the way government agencies function, interface with each other, and deliver its services to the Filipino People.” Usec. Casambre said.

Smart Cities Program Director Alejandro Melchor III elaborated on the details of Smarter Philippines, particularly how Smarter Philippines aims to drive development not only in the cities but also the countryside creating truly inclusive growth ensuring that no one is left behind. “ We want to focus on the twin economic goals of sustained inclusive economic development and poverty alleviation, as these are what is expected most by the citizens, we aim to do this by prioritizing development of tier two cities and the countryside; enhancing the capabilities of individuals, communities as well as SMEs.” Mr. Melchor added.

DOST Project heads of various Smart Initiatives namely: Dennis Villorente of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) for iGovPhil., Dr. Enrico C. Paringit of UP Department of Geodetic Engineering for DREAM LiDAR, Dr. Mahar Lagmay of Project NOAH, Dr. Portia Marcelo of the National Telehealth Center and Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga of DOST Region VI for the DOST Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) were also on hand to present updates of their respective programs.

About DOST-ICTO – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.

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Speeches and Presentations from Event: