New set of ‘Digital Cities’ eyeing to create 100,000 provincial jobs

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Provincial locations outside of Metro Manila have set their goals to create a total of over a hundred thousand local jobs in their respective cities by 2025.

Of the 31 cities launched as part of the Digital Cities Program in June last year, nine cities successfully completed their five-year roadmaps and launched them on Thursday, July 8, in a virtual ceremony organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

These include Balanga, Batangas, General Santos, Iligan, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Taytay Rizal, Tuguegarao, and Zamboanga.

“These cities are launching their ICT industry roadmaps to improve the readiness of their localities for the digital economy. The goal is not just to recover from the economic slowdown, but to further boost growth for our local industries and our local communities,” DICT secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said.

“We likewise aim to bridge the progress gap in the countryside to strengthen local economies,” he added.

The DICT, through its ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), in partnership with the Information Technology and Business Proces Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), launched the Digital Cities Program last year to support the growth of digital jobs in the countryside.

The program identified 25 locations and 31 cities as digital cities to serve as ideal sites for information technology business process management (IT-BPM) companies outside of Metro Manila.

The cities were identified based on four major metrics – talent, business environment, infrastructure and cost of doing business. The insights and data from stakeholders were gathered through a series of design thinking and strategic planning workshops.

Aside from IT-BPM investments, the local stakeholders were also encouraged to identify their strengths in hosting the growth of freelancers, technology entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators. They were also asked to promote innovation and use of digital technologies across all industries in their communities.

To support these locations, part of the intervention under the Digital Cities Program is to assist them in creating and designing their respective five-year roadmaps through various strategic planning, stakeholders and design thinking workshops.

The roadmap will also serve as a repository of business information to help investors in assessing a location’s readiness to host IT-BPM companies.

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