The Department of Information and Communciations Technology (DICT) is leading the Philippines in a digital transformation and has taken the first step in transforming cities to an

i-CiTY through the use of ICTs.

“DICT is here, and we’re always studying what’s best for the Philippines,” Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said.

Together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the DICT has forged partnerships with Huawei Technologies, Inc., SAP, Hexagon, HIS, Pacific Disaster Center, PWC, Indonesia FTTH Association, Roland Berger, Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Delaware Consulting to showcase cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICTs) at the two-day i-CiTY Summit: “Safer and Better Connected Philippines” held at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel last 13-14 March, 2017.


Public safety is at the center of digital transformation. The “Safe City” concept, which delves on the Internet of Things (IoT), predictive analytics and connectivity, aims to assist city leadership, police officers and other government stakeholders, in addressing public security, transport and disaster management. It also encourages public participation by creating an enabling environment for citizens in steering and monitoring progress of their cities.

During the summit, key industry leaders from local and overseas shared their best practices in safe city implementation. Sigit Hadi Prayoga, Vice Chairman of Smartcity Telkom, discussed how Bandung, Indonesia partnered with Huawei Technologies for their “Safe City” build-up, which  consisted of establishing a converged command center, video surveillance systems and an intelligent video analysis platform to provide security and traffic management in the city.

The video cameras, with alarm reporting capability and intelligently analyze people and vehicle behaviors, are connected to a command center, where operators can easily dispatch resources from, view police status, observe onsite conditions, and video-connect to onsite policemen, remote experts and decision-makers.

This ICT-enabled innovation enhances risk communication and improves efficiency in dispatching and coordinating emergency operations.

In a similar vein, Asia’s Most Liveable City, Singapore, remains congestion-free with their smart traffic management. Loh Chow Kuang, President of SingUT mentioned that only through bold policy implementation was this made possible. Their government merged four transport agencies into one to unify the governance structure, emphasizing the significant impact of a whole-of-government approach.


Safe city solutions address the city management side and promote two-way accountability between the government and the citizens through ‘bottom-up’ approaches made possible by mobile technologies. With mobile applications enabling mobile policing and faster feedback to city authorities, government leaders can easily keep a pulse on the citizens, optimizing ways of monitoring and incident reporting.

Nor Akmar Shah Minan from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission discussed their country’s National Broadband Framework. “We always maintain a people-centric policy. We must change the mindset of the community, before we can be ready to be a smart city—a smart nation.”

Huawei Global Chief Public Safety Expert explained that no two cities are alike in these ICT applications, “No two cities face the same threat.” He added, “We have to look at the ICT maturity of the country.”

The key challenge in delivering the Philippines’ ICT visions is infrastructure. Director of Solutions Marketing for Huawei Southern Pacific Region, Vengkateswara Rao said, “It really is the connectivity gap. There is a need to build coverage in the rural areas.”

In response to this is the DICT’s proposed National Broadband Plan that was already approved in principle by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Our economy is transitioning into a digital economy,” Undersecretary Denis Villorente said in his presentation on the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The NBP will aid the building of an information highway and, ultimately, making the Philippines an intelligent nation.

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said, “The NBP is the realization of everyone’s right to public service—telecommunications is public service.”