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Philippines: Govt Unveils “Smarter Philippines” Programme
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, January 04, 2013
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: Philippines
Created: Jan 08, 2013

The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) unveiled its upcoming flagship programme called “Smarter Philippines”, which aims to leverage ICT to boost the country’s economy by touching on several core industries.

According to Alejandro Melchor III, deputy executive director for ICT industry development at the ICTO, the “Smarter Philippines” consists of the following components: Smarter Governance, Smarter People, Smarter High-Tech Industry, Smarter Computing, Smarter SMEs, Smarter Agriculture World Development, Smarter Environmental Healthcare, Energy and Transport, Smarter Disaster and Mitigation, Public Safety and Smarter Cities.

“DOST with the ICT office intends to transform every aspect of society through technology innovation. Actually, Smarter Philippines is a new program that will fuel tremendous growth to the ICT industry and create tremendous demand for engineering, content development, and domestic ICT industry,” he said.

While the programme is yet to be launched, Melchor revealed that some of its components are now in operation in key areas such as disaster risk reduction, transparency and governance, and in bringing IT-BPO investments in cities outside of Metro Manila.

For disaster risk reduction, DOST launched the “National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Programme which aims to respond to the urgent need for a reliable flood warning system in all major river systems and watersheds in the country.

It is designed to set up a more responsive disaster preparedness system to reduce loss of lives, and damages to properties due to rain-triggered natural hazards.

Just last month, a mobile version of the programme was launched so that Filipinos can access information relevant to current weather conditions right on the palm of their hands.

Meanwhile, under its Smarter Cities component, the government is pushing for its Next Wave Cities Programme, which seeks to create employment opportunities in the countryside by promoting different provinces as suitable BPO destinations.
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